Will youngsters vote for memes or manifestoes?

Most of the youth said that their votes would go to parties based on their manifestos and their record of fulfilling promises. 

Published: 02nd March 2019 05:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd March 2019 05:31 AM   |  A+A-

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Express News Service

CHENNAI: A vox pop of over 50 first-time voters in the city reveal a departure from the age-old trend of voting for the political leanings of one’s family. Most of the youth said that their votes would go to parties based on their manifestos and their record of fulfilling promises. 

While most of these youth, across genders and economic class, conceded they depend on memes to stay up to date on political developments, they claimed easy access to information has enabled them to make their own choices.  “No party is deserving of my vote but I will look out for the manifestos the parties announce and make my choice,” said Ankitha, a college student, claiming that development schemes announced by the parties will invariably influence her vote.
Dravidian parties lose sheen 

In addition to this ‘mass rebellion’ of sorts, when it comes to voting for a candidate/party, most first-time voters claimed to have lost hope in Dravidian parties.
“The Dravidian parties are all equally bad and corrupt,” says Kishore, a college student, claiming youth want a new movement which listens to their needs. A few expressed hope in fringe parties like Naam Tamilar Katchi, enthralled by Seeman’s fiery speeches.  

No actors please 

However, most of the youth denounced actors entering politics such as Kamal Haasan. “We don’t want a repeat of MGR nd Jayalalithaa in our generation,” says Ankitha.
Mixed reactions to BJP 
Though youth welcome NDA’s airstrikes on terror camps, an anti-BJP wave on grounds of their anti-secular agenda, is also observed.

No exclusive steps to woo first-timers 
Chennai: While this movement of youth making their own decision on whom to vote for, is no secret, political parties aren’t taking exclusive steps to lure them. It is true that first-time voters are under the 10 lakh-mark. However, analysts claim that is not the lack of votes but lack of stability that has rendered parties unable to attract them. “Both, the AIADMK and DMK are yet to find stability after passing away of their leaders so they aren’t able to concentrate on adding first-time voters,” said Ravindran Duraisamy, a political analyst.


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