KARNATAKA

First dot on democracy

PROUD TO BE A VOTER: First time voters show off the marked fingers at J.P. Nagar in Bangalore on Thursday.

PROUD TO BE A VOTER: First time voters show off the marked fingers at J.P. Nagar in Bangalore on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: K. Murali Kumar

Komal Sarvi and Ekta D. Kataria

First time voters excited to be part of world’s largest election

BANGALORE: Enthusiastic first-time voters streamed into polling booths across the city, each believing that his or her vote would make a difference in the 15th Lok Sabha elections.

Krishna, who became eligible to vote less than six months ago, came out of the polling booth in Dooravani Nagar in the city on Thursday and proudly displayed the mark of the indelible ink on his finger to his younger sister waiting outside. “This is the first time I have cast my vote”, he told The Hindu even as he safely tucked away the electoral photo identity card (EPIC) inside his trouser pocket.

Elizabeth, who turned 18 almost two years ago, had missed her chance to vote during the last Assembly elections as she was out of Karnataka.

She was eagerly looking forward to the polling day for the ensuing Lok Sabha elections and turned up at the polling booth in Fraser Town to exercise her franchise on Thursday. “I am happy that I have become eligible to cast a vote now. I want to exercise the authority that has now been given to me,” said a smiling Ms. Elizabeth.

Equally excited were Raghavendra, Nagaraj and Santosh, all of whom had just crossed 18, as they waited outside a make-shift booth in Maruthinagar. “It is exciting for us since we are going to decide the future of this country,” said Raghavendra.

Quite a few first-time voters in Bangalore to whom The Hindu spoke to appeared to have missed their chance to vote during the Assembly elections held last year for various reasons even though they had crossed 18 years and become eligible to vote.

Polling for the ensuing Lok Sabha elections had presented them with the first opportunity to become part of the gigantic electoral process in the country.

“In the past few years I have tried to keep myself more aware and hence thought even I need to take part in the country’s democracy. Everybody is entitled to have a say and voting is the best way one can voice their opinion,” said a beaming Sahan S, who is in her early twenties.

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