Bihar Election is to witness approximately 12% first time voters in the age group of 18 – 19 years, out of the under 30 voters. The under 30 electorate for the Bihar polls 2015, has been counted to be 2,05,70,308. The younger lot of voters is definitely something to lookout for. According to a survey report the under 30 voters are about 31% of the electorate of Bihar, which works up to eighty five thousand voters, under the 243 assembly seats. This is many – fold the average win margin, which was approximately 15,000 votes in the Bihar assembly elections held in 2010. The first phase of Assembly elections in Bihar, witnessed a 57% turnout.
The youth brigade in Bihar election 2015
The several constituencies in Bihar are to witness 36 lakh first time electors this year. This is more than 17% of the youth electorate. The largest chunk of these under 30 voters is set to cast their votes in the final polling phase, on November 5. These will be close to 49.5 lakh voters. Around a crore under 30 voters will exercise their right in the last two phases of Bihar Election 2015. These will cover the north – eastern and north – western constituencies in the state of Bihar.
It is apparent that even a slight swing in the casted votes can give an alliance a major edge over the others in the battle. The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) proved in the 2010 Lok Sabha Elections, that the young voters can make a great difference in the election turnout and results. Additionally, the party has also offered promising jobs and quality education to tempt the voter segment in Bihar Assembly elections 2015. Though, the opposition too has realized the importance of the particular segment of voters. Nitish Kumar has promised an engineering college in every district in the state of Bihar. WiFi and other advancements in colleges and universities have also been promised to tap the technology inclination of the youth.
Major influence for youth electorate
The major parties are putting their best for the 5 phase polling battle in Bihar. Among the most prominent names in the skirmish are Pashupati Kumar Paras (LJP candidate), Shakuni Chaudhary (HAM (S) state president, contesting at Tarapur), Vijay Kumar Chaudhary (Water Resources Minister, Bihar and prominent leader in JD (U), contesting at Sarairanjan).
According to the contestants, the young voters are post reform individuals and are more expected to support promising candidates. They will exhibit inclination towards candidates who are more probable to deliver. Progress, development, tapping unemployment and provisions for betterment in education are preferred.
Yet, some experts and analysts have also warned against over – exaggeration of the youth influence. Assuming the youth as a separate constituency has been cautioned against, as it is a highly unpredictable voter segment. Unless the youth move together, it is unlikely that they can greatly influence turnout in Bihar election, according to Yogendra Yadav, who is the founder of the Swaraj Abhiyan, as well as a psephologist. According to him, the young voters do not vote differently from the elder electorate. Political scientist, Suhar Palshikar has backed the fact, stating that age biased vote patterns exhibit highly limited evidence.
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