As Punjab and Goa began voting on Friday to decide on their next governments, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter early in the day urging voters to turn up in huge numbers and exercise their voting rights. “Urging people of Punjab & Goa to turnout in record numbers & vote in the Assembly elections. I particularly urge my young friends to vote,” the prime minister tweeted.
Young voters hold special significance according to the Election Commission data analysed by The Indian Express which shows that 27 per cent of Punjab’s total voters and 23 per cent in Goa are youngsters in the age group of 18-30. According to poll analysts, the large number of youngsters is expected to influence the turnout in all five states, especially in Punjab and Goa.
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“The young were indifferent to elections, but in 2010 the EC started educating them about registering themselves as voters. Now their numbers are significantly large and the increase in voter turnout every year is because of this age group. I feel they can influence the outcome of an election,” said former chief election commissioner S Y Quraishi.
While 1,1,10,884 voters in Goa are expected to vote across 40 Assembly constituencies on Saturday, Punjab will be voting for the 117-seat Vidhan Sabha election. The marathon elections that begin Saturday with Punjab and Goa voting first, will be followed by Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Manipur.