‘The winning party should work for the people and not merely for themselves’

An estimated 12 crore people across the country are going to cast their vote for the first time during Lok Sabha elections. With such a huge number of youngsters gearing up to participate in democratic process of choosing the party to govern the country, it is but natural that political parties are trying to find out what the young India’s expectations are.

When The Hindu tried to feel the pulse of a few youngsters in the city, what came out prominently was the expectation to end corruption in the country.

“I only want a corrupt-free India. The winning party should work for the benefit of the people and not merely for themselves,” said Apeksha Nayak, first-year B.Sc. student at Christ University.

Aditi Mohan from the same varsity, added: “The elected party should also focus on providing better roads, public toilets and more greenery in the city.”

While most first-time voters are clear about their expectations from the new Central government, some are nervous that they are going to cast their franchise for the first time. Vaikunt Prasad of PES University, said: “With great power comes great responsibility. The power of one vote is enormous. I feel really excited as I am a first-time voter. I’ve done all my research. I’ve also been keenly following the campaigns though I can’t honestly say that it has influenced me entirely.”

Tushar O.P. of St. Joseph’s College of Commerce feels the same. “Every vote counts. I take keen interest in politics and I have almost decided which party I am going to vote for. I just hope I have made the right decision.”

Tarun Bhalla from St. Josephs College of Arts and Science expects a lot more: “I want the new government to do a lot of things: promote secularism, social liberalism, repeal AFSPA, strike down Section 377 of the Constitution, spend more on education and health, continue dialogue with Pakistan to resolve long-standing issues, pass the Women’s Reservation Bill and do away with the provision to award capital punishment.”

“One vote is going to affect our lives not only for the next five years but even after that. I’m really nervous and I hope I vote for the right party,” added Prajwal Prakash, a law student in Bangalore University.

Many students studying in other parts of the country are coming to Bangalore to cast their votes. Rohith Unnikrishnan of Vellore Institute of Technology, Tamil Nadu, is one such person. “Voting for me is an important right and I, as a responsible citizen, feel the need to exercise it. I expect the new government to be transparent in its governance, be accountable to the public and end corruption. Campaigns are more of a public gimmick. I feel that any educated Indian will be able to differentiate between what a party says it will do and what it has done in the past. The parties should deliver more and promise less.”

The manifesto

In fact many first-time voters have come together and made public their expectations from the political parties. A group of students from different colleges in the city recently released the ‘Bangalore city colleges manifesto for general elections 2014’. The group, which calls itself ‘Students for good governance’, has demanded, among other things: an annual evaluation of representatives and the right to recall in case of dissatisfactory performance; bringing funding of elections under the Right to Information Act; imposing a ban on political parties that make use of religion and caste for mobilizing votes; provide justice to victims of communal violence and conduct trials in fast-track courts; and stop collection and payment of donations in and by educational institutions.

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