Rahul Gandhi has spoken of a ‘young government’ in 2014 and Narendra Modi is busy wooing first-time voters. But it is the rookie Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) that has taken a decisive step to tap into this youth power.
To connect with Delhi’s 1.16 crore voters — 3.66 lakh of them first-timers — the Arvind Kejriwal-led party has fielded candidates with an average age of 40. The current assembly has only 19 MLAs (27%) below the age of 45. Forty-six of them are between 45 and 65 years old while five are above 65. At 26, Rakhi Birla is AAP’s youngest candidate. “It’s a generational shift if you compare the average age of BJP and Congress leaders. Our young profile will benefit me in my constituency (Mangolpuri) and the party across Delhi,” says the TV journalist-turned-politician.
But Vasant Kunj resident Siddhant Shukla, 22, says: “Age gives you much-needed connect. But the candidate and his party must have a vision. Without winability, age is of little consequence.”