Pinky Jatav (18) seems busy in a corner, trying to rub something off her finger. “Nikal hi nahi raha dadi. Meri nail paint poori kharab ho gayi (This is not coming off. My nail paint has been ruined),” she says, standing outside the Najafgarh polling booth with her 70-year-old grandmother.
Pinky is a first-time voter. Early Thursday morning, she wore her blue sequined shirt and jeans, and put up a Facebook update announcing that she was going to vote.
“I turned 18 three months ago and was eagerly waiting for this day. I have decided to vote for change and I think the biggest issue is women’s safety. I think the city stands a chance with the AAP,” she says.
Meanwhile, near the Delhi University North Campus, a large group of enthusiastic students from Daulat Ram College came to participate in their first elections on Thursday, only to be turned away from the station as they did not have valid voter ID cards. They were misled by a false SMS.
Voting in the Delhi University area started early, with morning walkers kicking off the polling by queuing up outside polling booths at 7 am.
“There is a lot of awareness about the elections and the need to vote. I know people in my hostel who are planning to go back to their homes to vote,” Akash Gosain, a student of Hindu College, said.
At Mukherjee Nagar, where students from the hostel for visually challenged as well as residents of the PG accommodations voted, similar local issues made an impact. “We will not vote for Congress this time because they introduced the new Bill for the physically challenged, which actually took away a lot of our rights. The conditions in our hostel are very tough,” MA student Kanhaiya Chauhan, who is visually challenged, said.
With excitement and some apprehension, 20-year-old Kanika Upadhyaya made her way to a polling centre in Mayur Vihar to cast her vote for the first time. “I am going to push the NOTA button. All political parties are the same. I don’t know how much of an impact the NOTA votes will have this election. However, it might just send a strong message to political parties and lead them to think about making changes in their way of functioning,” she said.
The DU area also saw numerous complaints of names missing from voter lists. At the Ramjas College booth, Reeta Khanna and her husband Raman, from a 22-member joint family, found that their names were missing from the list even as the rest of the family was able to vote.