UP assembly polls: First time voters exercise their franchise with gusto in Lucknow
UP assembly election: The first time voters said the polling staff were very kind and guided them through the process
Having waited for this moment for a long time, first-time voters were elated to exercise their franchise and have a say in the democratic process during the fourth phase of the UP assembly polls in Lucknow on Wednesday.
“My polling centre was at RPS School. I had to go alone as my family had to vote at other centres. The people were very kind, they guided me through the entire process. I was nervous at first, but I felt proud and happy to cast my vote,” said Lubna Fatima, one of those happy to get her finger inked for the UP assembly polls.
Mohammad Sharif, an engineering graduate, said, “I’ve cast my vote, hoping for more emphasis on development, reduction in prices, and employment opportunities.”
Job opportunities were on the top of the mind of many youngsters in Lucknow.
“I have voted with the expectation of more job opportunities. I am a graduate from Mahila P.G. College, but I am unable to find employment. I hope that the ruling party will provide us with that,” said Yashika Srivastava.
The price of petrol was also a concern for some.
Shiva Rajput said, “I hope the price of petrol goes down. It is hitting an all-time high.”
With her head covered with hijab, Nashat Hayatullah, a post- graduate from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, said, “I see voting as the power given to us by the Constitution to determine which way our state would function in the future. Therefore, as a responsible citizen, I personally feel the duty to cast my vote.”
She said, “Development has always been my priority. My voting centre was well managed and I must say that this time I saw the largest number of people at the voting centre.”
Devansh Trivedi, who is preparing for the civil services exam, said, “I was desperately waiting for this moment. As every vote counts, I feel my vote is for developmental politics.”
Komal Mishra, 19, resident of a colony near the Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS), said, “I have voted for the first time as a responsible citizen. I hope my vote will make a difference to the society. I always believe that voting rights must be exercised by every voter.”
Udbhav Kumar, 18 another first-time voter in the Mohanlalganj area, said, “This time, BLO (booth level officer) came to our residence a number of times to appeal to us to vote. I have voted for the betterment of the area. I used to hear about voting from my friends who had voted earlier. ”
Saloni Saxena, 19, also voted for the first time at a booth in Mohanlalganj and said, “I have voted for the first time. Now, I feel that I have done something for my country by voting for a good candidate.”
Somnath Kashyap, 20 , resident of Barha in the Lucknow Cantt constituency and another first-time voter, said, “I was very excited about voting. So, I reached the polling station in the morning and voted for the first time.”
“By voting, we add our voice to the chorus that forms opinions and the basis for actions. It is very important for the development of the nation,” said Mishkaat Hayatullah, 32, a doctor.
Deepti Singh Tomar, 30, said, “I got up early in the morning and was among the first people to cast my vote. Everything was well managed. The security was tight but very cooperative. I am feeling happy about casting my vote.”
“Voting is a highly effective medium, through which we can change what we want in the government. In recent years, there is a considerable rise in voting percentage and people are coming forward to be the change makers. It is very uplifting that a person like me, can choose the leader of the state or country,” said Mohammad Rehan, a student.
Many voters were of the view that there was less congestion and more facilities at the polling stations.
“There was no congestion, noise, and Covid-19 norms were being followed,” said Nidhi Trivedi, a Lucknow University student. Another voter Astha Joshi added, “There were many developments at the polling booth this time. The safety of girls was significantly better than last time.”
A number of young voters came from other cities to cast their vote. Sudeeti Chaturvedi, a resident of Charbagh, came all the way from Bengaluru to cast her vote.
“I took leave to use my voting rights,” she said.
Many high school students have come forward to volunteer at polling centres.
“We checked the voter slips and directed the voters towards their booths. It was an excellent experience,” said Aarish Ahmad, class 11 student stationed at CMS Rajajipuram campus 2, as a volunteer.
“We gave priority to senior citizens who came to vote. We took them to the booths and guided them. We also helped those who were on wheelchairs,” said Arpit Saraswat. Another student Aman Kumar Srivastava added, “I felt proud to volunteer on such an important day for the state. We worked as a team and did everything from managing traffic, ensuring Covid-19 protocols are being followed, and helping the voters.”
(With Faara Nadeem )