Even before the polling staff could set-up the polling booth at Jakhu and complete the mandatory drill before the polling time, Tripti Birla(20), a first-time voter, stood there patiently. “My vote is for change and a clean government. There is so much unemployment. I strongly feel the government should think of creating jobs,” she said.
A fan of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Birla said, “Modi ji brings a totally different kind of leadership. India’s image has gone high globally. I like the way he works and interacts with the masses”.
Like Birla, the sentiment of majority of the youth who voted for the first-time, was similar. “Youths want good educational institutions in Himachal Pradesh. Only honest politicians should be elected. There is a strong chance that Modi wave could help BJP win the polls. Change is always welcome, said Jassica Sood, a BDS student.
A senior citizen at Kelston wondered how politicians in a bid to win elections become ‘the rulers of voters’ destiny’. “This culture must end. They are public servants, so they must shun their egos. The new government should be corruption-free and it must end the VIP culture and focus on delivery of good services,” he said.
Outside the booths in Theog and Matiayna, men and women standing in queues were seen debating rise in the prices of pulses and LGP. “The leaders only make promises and never delivers. It’s difficult for the poor people to live a dignified life. Roti, kapda, makaan are three basic needs of everyone and we struggle to get these. Politicians are the biggest liars,” said Gomti, a house-wife.
At Kotkhai ,the voters especially youths, intensively discussed possibilities of a change and local BJP candidate Narinder Bragta getting a cabinet berth for being close to Dhumal. “The election will surely throw up a few surprises. The five-year rule of the government was a blot on Himachal Pradesh. With Modi in Delhi and Dhumal in Himachal Pradesh, the state will see faster development. If voted to power, Dhumal should focus on law and order, issues of youth and good governance,” said Prateek (23), a student at Sujanpur. Youngest BDC chairperson at Kotkhai, Prajwal Busta(23), a first-time voter, said, “Modi magic is working all over Himachal Pradesh.