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Political parties eye 2.20 lakh first-time voters this Lok Sabha Polls in Jharkhand

Political parties chalk strategy to win over the new voters, as they could play significant role in election results.

lok sabha elections Updated: Mar 14, 2019 11:29 IST
Sanjoy Dey
Sanjoy Dey
Hindustan Times, Ranchi
first time voters,lok sabha elections,first time voters in jharkhand
First-time voters are excited and plan to use their rights sensibly to elect their representatives.

Over 2.20 lakh first-time voters will vote in Jharkhand in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. As they are expected to play a pivotal role, political parties in the state do not want to miss any chance to woo the new voters between the age group of 18 and 19.

Of the total 2.19 crore voters in Jharkhand, 2.20 lakh are new voters, which includes 1.33 lakh male and 87,056 female voters. Palamu (Daltonganj) has the highest number of first-time voters. The constituency has registered 30,158 first-time voters against a total of 18,50,485 voters, while Rajmahal has the lowest number of first-time voters at 9,800.

“This is the tentative figure of new voters. As per the guidelines of the Election Commission of India (ECI), the enrolment process would continue till the date of filing the nominations. So, we expect a further rise in the number. The ECI also emphasised on enroling new voters so that the voting percentage could increase in the general elections,” said L Khiyangate, Jharkhand’s chief electoral officer (CEO).

First-time voters are excited and plan to use their rights sensibly to elect their representatives.

19-year-old Mohit Raj, a resident of Dhanbad, said, “Irrespective of current issues prevailing in the country such as India-Pakistan tension and religious sentiments, I would cast my vote for better jobs, education and health opportunities. Whichever party has a logical roadmap on these issues, I would exercise my vote in their support.”

Echoing Raj’s voice, Pawan Ganga, another first-time voter from Baralota in Daltonganj said, “Nothing much was done in employment and education sector in the country. It is a matter of worry for us, as we do not see any job opportunities after completion of my education. So, my vote will be for development, especially in the education and job sector.”

Political parties are not budging away from promising better education and job opportunities to attract the young voters.

“We have a dedicated development plan for youths. If Congress comes to power, we will focus on job-oriented education, professional training to students and employments for youths,” said Kishore Nath Shahdeo, Jharkhand Congress spokesperson.

“We call the new voters as ‘millennium voters’ and BJP’s youth wing has been working to win over first-time voters for the last several months. The Modi government has effortlessly worked for quality education and job oriented education in the country. Narendra Modi is the youths’ first choice not only in the state but also in the country. So, we hope to get full support of the new voters,” said Deepak Prakash, state BJP’s general secretary.

Political analysts said first time voters could be decisive in few constituencies of the state, especially the ones in which close contests were expected. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the winning margin in Lohardaga was merely 6,489, which is about half of the number of new voters registered in the constituency before the 2019 polls. Lohardaga registered 11,657 first-time voters by January 30.

First Published: Mar 14, 2019 11:29 IST