The youth factor in Bihar assembly elections 2020
With an 80 million population of youths, Bihar is home to a large proportion of people below the age of 25. Of the total 71.8 million voters in Bihar, 56 per cent are in the 18-40 age bracket. Voters in the 18-25 age bracket account for 16 per cent of the total population in the state. The importance of the youth voters is not lost on the political parties in Bihar as all of them have promised jobs in the manifestos. And then there are many young faces trying their luck at the ballot in the Bihar assembly elections.
Tejashwi Yadav, the 30-year-old son of the Rashtriya Janata Dal’s (RJD’s) Lalu Prasad Yadav, who is in jail in connection with the fodder scam, is the chief ministerial face of the Opposition’s Mahagathbandhan in Bihar. After the demise of the Lok Janshakti Party’s (LJP’s) Ram Vilas Paswan, his 37-year-old son, Chirag Paswan, has decided to go it alone in this election. But other than the sons of the patriarchs of political parties in Bihar, some new young faces can also be seen fighting the Bihar assembly elections.
After completing her masters in development studies from the University of Sussex, Pushpam Priya Choudhary (28) did another masters course in public administration from the London School of Economics and Political Science and is now the president of her newly-floated political front, Plurals Party.
Shalini Mishra (42), who has an MBA in marketing and advertising and has worked in Faridabad, is the candidate of the Janata Dal (United) from the Kesari seat in East Champaran.
Nikhil Mandal (45), who was the financial adviser with IDBI and later practised in Patna High Court, will contest on a JD(U) ticket from Madhepura. He is the grandson of BP Mandal, former chief minister of Bihar who chaired the Mandal Commission.
Manish Barriarr (42), who is an MBA from the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi, and an alumnus of Oxford University, taught management in a private institute in Patna before launching his own political outfit, Voxxs. He is contesting from Patna’s high profile Bankipur seat.
Ritu Jaiswal (35), who is currently the mukhiya of Singhwahini village in Sitamarhi, has been fielded by the RJD from the Parihar constituency. She bagged the prestigious Deen Dayal Upadhyay Panchayat Sashaktikaran Puruskar last year.
Shreyasi Singh (29), a Commonwealth Games gold medalist in shooting, has been fielded by the BJP from the Jamui seat.
Chetan Anand (29), the son of former MP Anand Mohan, is contesting from Sheohar on an RJD ticket. After finishing industrial and textile designing from an institute in Pune, he began social service and now hopes to be an MLA.
The fate of these young faces will be decided as Bihar goes to polls on October 28, November 3 and November 7 to elect a 243-member assembly in three phases. The counting will take place on November 10.