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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014

BJP centre targets confused young Amritsar voters

Usmeet Kaur , Hindustan Times  Amritsar, April 25, 2014
First Published: 11:03 IST(25/4/2014) | Last Updated: 11:03 IST(25/4/2014)

With the prestige of one of its top leaders at stake in Amritsar, the BJP is leaving nothing to chance. While its women and youth cells are campaigning from door to door, the party is running a hi-tech campaign by creating a database of over 12 lakh voters out of over 14 lakh and calling them randomly to vote for change.

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As it does so, the party hears disappoint ments of voters, mainly the youth, against the state government, local ministers and municipal authorities. A major complaint is against the pitiable condition of roads, nonfunctioning streetlights, drug abuse and sanitation issues.

A girl caller talks about the rage in the youth. “More than 80% youth are confused and angry at the failure of the system and false promises made by politicians during campaigning. When we call the youth, they say, ‘We will see whom to vote; you don’t have to tell us or compel us to vote for Modi.’ If we talk about Jaitley, many say, ‘ He is from Delhi. What will he do? He doesn’t know our issues and what problems the unemployed youth face.’”

Many youth even turn abusive. “To handle them, we ask them who do you want as PM – Rahul Gandhi, Modi or Arvind Kejriwal? And many promptly say, ‘We will see, leave it to us.’” says another employee of the call centre. Engaging a listener is not difficult as the party has employed girls. And it is Modi, not the local BJP candidate the call centre is trying to sell.

Sandhu talks about their target. “We try to convince those who are first-time voters or who do not believe in voting or who haven’t made up their mind. We shortlist the confused section and call them time and again and tell them to choose Modi."

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