Delhi’s youth yearns for stability as much as it wants change in the current dispensation, the Hindustan Times C fore survey shows.
While 29% respondents in the age group of 18-25 years said they would vote for the incumbent Congress, nearly 28% chose the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). The main Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was the choice of 26% voters in this age group.
The number of first-time voters (18-19 years) in Delhi has risen nearly four times to approximately 3.5 lakh from the 98,000 that voted in the 2012 municipal corporation polls and, therefore, their choice in the upcoming assembly polls may prove to be the game changer.
The preference for AAP over the BJP can be located in several protest movements — of which AAP is a progeny — that the Capital has witnessed in the past two years.
The youth were in the forefront of the each movement — from Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption protest to the demonstrations against the December 16 gang rape.
The Congress, however, retained a clear edge over voters across age groups. The party got support from 34% respondents in the age group of 26-35 years against BJP’s 28% and AAP’s 24%.
The ruling party’s support graph grew with the advancing years. It got support from 36% respondents in the age group of 36-50 years and 37% among 50-plus respondents.
“First, the very definition of youth need to be understood clearly. Youth is a bundle of energy — an act of possibility. It is revolutionary and hence wants change. The survey shows that a large percentage of the youth would vote for AAP because the party talks about an ideal world. However, actual voting percentage may vary,” said Vivek Kumar, associate professor, Centre for the Study of Social Systems, JNU.
The survey also shows that among the elders, the choice is largely between the Congress and the BJP.
“The mature population has experience and hence their choices are clear. They will, therefore, vote for a party which they feel will be in the position to form a stable government,” Kumar said.