‘Over 50 Percent Voters Less Than 40 Yrs Old, May Swing Polls’
Over 50 per cent of the voters in Karnataka are less that 40 years old. According to analysts, they will play an important role in these elections and the parties are doing their best to reach out to them through online campaigns.
According to Prof Harish Ramaswamy of the Political Science Department at Karnatak University, Dharwad: “Voters in the age group of 18 to 35 or 40 years are not willing to understand the issues in-depth and are easily influenced by campaigns carried out through Facebook, Twitter and other online platforms.’’
That was the reason, Ramaswamy says, parties took to aggressive campaigning online. “BJP took advantage and started using these social networking sites much ahead of other parties. Narendra Modi is reaching out to young voters in different forms. In fact, the AAP won the elections in Delhi thanks to propaganda through social networking sites. It may not work for AAP now.’’
Prof Muzaffar Assadi of the Political Science department at the University of Mysore explains that voters can be categorised into four groups: 18 to 35, 35 to 50, 50 to 80 years and those above 80 years. “Voters in the 18 to 35 years age group have a different political understanding. Some are mature, while some go by emotions. This age group sees political crisis and corruption in the system. They are young and angry voters who are the product and victims of globalisation. They do not have social security,’’ he says.
“The 35- to 50-year age group wants a change in the system while those above 50 years have a feeling of nostalgia. Their political understanding has stopped at Indira Gandhi,” he says.
Though Congress’ Rahul Gandhi is young, he does not represent young voters. Modi speaks the young voters’ language while the youth feel Kejriwal, though he speaks aggressively, is an anarchist, he says.
According to political analyst Prof Sandeep Shastri, voters between 18 and 24 years think differently. “Earlier, there was a generation gap between the young and other voters.”
“This election could be different as this group makes up a substantial chunk of voters. How they perceive politics is different,” he says.
Though young voters in the north, west and the central part are tending towards BJP, there is no such visible trend in Karnataka, he says.
“In the past, the state’s trend was different from national politics. But this year, no clear trend is visible,” he said.
Stressing on the Aam Aadmi Party in New Delhi, he says it was this group of 18 to 25 years which wanted anti-corruption and anti-mainstream politics and found their ideology in Aam Aadmi Party.