NEW DELHI: With five phases of the polling in Uttar Pradesh now over, the BJP appears to be drawing comfort from the assessment that the youth in the state is backing the saffron outfit amid the fierce electoral battle in the Hindi heartland. The BJP claims that the brand Modi is gaining more strength in the state, and the Prime Minister commanding much stronger following among the youth.
“UP is one of the youngest states of India. There is a sizable population of young voters in the state. They are well connected with their smart phones to the various tools of the social media. Within the BJP, there is an assessment that the youth in the first five phases have defied the caste affiliations to vote for the party in the name of Modi. The result of the state elections will surprise the political pundits,” said a Union Minister and senior BJP leader, who canvassed for the party nominees.
Even while the youth in the state had largely backed the incumbent chief minister Akhilesh Yadav in the 2012 Assembly elections, the BJP leaders claim that they have lost faith in the Samajwadi Party chief in five years after they could not find jobs near their homes. “Mumbai is a top destination for the migration of the youth from UP. The BJP’s exceptional rise as shown in the outcome for the local body polls indicates clearly that the youth from UP deserted the Congress to back the BJP. Similar trends will prevail when the outcome of the UP polls comes on March 11,” added the minister.
In 2012, the youth had backed the Samajwadi Party after the incumbent chief minister had promised to pay Rs 1000 a month to the unemployed youth, while the laptop scheme helped him to bag votes in abundance. “The youth in the state have seen enough doles. They now want jobs. The credentials of the BJP appeal them more than the SP or the BSP. The Mudra scheme under which credit is being extended to the youth is making strong impacts. That the Budgetary allocation under Mudra scheme was doubled to Rs 2.44 lakh crore in this year’s Budget has been received well by the youth in UP. The state has seen a good number of Mudra scheme beneficiaries,” added the BJP functionary.
The BJP also claims that the youth in UP largely have “negative perception” about the Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi. “The SP-Congress is a non-starter on the ground. There is no chemistry between the two parties. Lack of support among the youth for Rahul Gandhi will also harm the prospects of the SP,” said the BJP leader.