Indian Express

Young brigade leads the charge on the last day

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AAP workers on Ferozepur road in Ludhiana on Monday. AAP workers on Ferozepur road in Ludhiana on Monday.

It was the youth power that dominated the campaigning of four major candidates on the last day on Monday.

Young volunteers from Aam Aadmi Party, Congress, SAD-BJP and supporters of Independent candidate Simarjit Singh Bains stood under the soaring sun at all city roundabouts on Ferozepur road and asked for votes.

The roundabouts turned into battlefields and witnessed cold wars with some even entering heated arguments with volunteers of the rival parties.

Also, the volunteers of the opposite parties reached the spot quickly where other party campaigners were seen standing with their placards.

At Aarti chowk, while first there were supporters of Congress candidate Ravneet Singh Bittu and SAD-BJP candidate Manpreet Singh Ayali who were campaigning, volunteers of Bains and Phoolka reached there too.

Similarly, Bharat Nagar Chowk, Malhar Road Chowk, Sarabha Nagar, Jagraon bridge, Sidhwan Canal and various other spots in the city saw college students coming out with posters and banners asking for votes for their favourite candidates.
Some even wrote catchy slogans like “Ek baar tumhe kharidenge, phir 5 saal tumhe bechenge… don’t sell your vote” on banners and stood with them at traffic signals across the city.

The supporters of Bains were standing with toy letterboxes in their hands which is also his poll symbol while Bittu supporters asked for votes in the name of former chief minister Beant Singh, Bittu’s grandfather.

Interestingly, young supporters of SAD-BJP were seen vouching for BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and asked commuters to vote for ‘Modi as PM’. They also sported orange Gandhi caps with ‘Modi as PM’ written on them.
The young supporters from various parties continued beating dhol and shouting slogans in Sarabha Nagar even after 5 pm, the deadline to end campaigning in the constituency.

It was for the first time that the city saw youth power coming forward to campaign in such a manner. “In the 2012 Assembly polls and 2009 Lok Sabha polls, campaigning in Ludhiana never saw youth coming forward this way. It was all about leader’s speeches and advertisements on walls but this shows rising awareness among youth. It is also an indication that voting percentage will soar in Ludhiana,” said Kuldeep Singh, a city resident.

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