JEYPORE: The elections apart from being a merry-making season for the rural youths of Koraput district also bring employment opportunities for them.Ever since the elections were announced, various political parties have hired youths for rallies and door-to-door campaigning, fixing posters and banners, distributing leaflets for candidates and other political activities.
In return, the youths get non-vegetarian food, liquor, `200 per day and fuel for their bikes.Sources said some youths are also getting commission for arranging auto-rickshaws and other light vehicles for political parties for campaigning purposes.However, the loyalty of these youths does not lie with any particular political party. They do the campaigning job if and when they are approached by any party.
Sambaru Macho of Aunli village said he has no affiliation to any party. “Whoever needs us, we support them for money and food,” he said.Guru Nayak, a youth of Nuagam, said, “Usually, we spend our days either sleeping or playing in the village. But during elections, we work for political parties.”
Interestingly, there have been many instances when the youths are seen attending rallies of different political parties by changing the party flags. Sources said the youths have stored flags and banners of various parties and on being hired, they use these accordingly.
Candidates of political parties, on the other hand, have immense faith in the youths. Till the polling ends, they engage these youths to distribute sops and freebies to voters and also maintain a good public relation with villagers.
As per estimate, over two lakh youths live in rural areas of Koraput and around 30 per cent of them are engaged in farm and other sectors. The remaining youths are struggling to find work.