As many as 84,850 first time voters featured on the electoral rolls for the Lok Sabha elections 2019 from Bangalore. Post polling hours on April 18, Indianexpress.com spoke to some first-time voters from Bangalore. Here’s what the felt:
Contrary to the majority of Bengalureans who chose not to vote, 21-year-old Mir Sarwar Hussain felt it was important to exercise his right to vote without much ado.
A commerce student from St Joseph’s College who also runs an operations management startup from Bangalore, Hussain says, “The country needs an educated leader to lead us. Only this can make the world’s biggest democracy the most powerful among others as well. A leader who treats all sections of the society equally should be voted to power.” He further adds that the country should be run considering inputs and demands from both old and young citizens alike. Voting from Bangalore Central, Hussain was keen that he would pick the best MP candidate for his constituency instead of voting indirectly for a Prime Minister candidate.
However, Payel Roy chose to vote the other way. Explaining her idea of Lok Sabha elections, she tells, “I voted for a probable PM for the next five years because I think ultimately it depends largely on who the leader is and who administers the country efficiently.” The 22-year-old psychology student who cast her vote from BTM Layout adds that family discussions on the political history of the constituency and various issues highlighted by the media led to her decision.
Anti-incumbency and ‘fear factor’ motivated 21-year-old V Niranjan Prasad to cast his vote for the Lok Sabha elections after he chose to give the 2018 Karnakata assembly elections a miss. “As per the current situations that prevail in India now, the existence of democracy itself is at stake. Any statement that criticises the government is considered sedition. If at all one manages to escape unnecessary legal issues, mob lynching awaits,” he says. However, Niranjan was keen on going through the election manifestos released by the political parties before picking his favourite from Bangalore North.
Mass communication student at Jyoti Nivas College, Sreetama Banerjee admits that she voted for the next Prime Minister by picking an MP representing the same party, for the next five years. “Complete power lies with the Prime Minister and hence I voted with that in mind,” the 21-year-old first-time-voter from Bangalore South says.
IT professional Rahul Nair had a long wait to exercise his right to vote when compared to others. Interestingly, the 32-year-old reacted differently from several others when asked about his first-time experience. “I find not a single candidate is worth voting but still chose to express my opinion on the EVM,” he says.
Several civic activist groups, NGOs and startups were active holding different campaigns and offering discounts to encourage a huge voter turnout in the city but poor voter turnout from Bangalore has disappointed all alike.