With the 17th Lok Sabha elections having come to a close, it was pertinent to look back at various factors that defined them. One important factor was the massive number of new voters, with over 80 million of them registered to vote in the elections. With increasing awareness with regards to voting and the democratic process and an immense social media campaign during the elecions, the turnout from this section was considerable.
DoJMA had circulated a survey to figure out how the first time voters felt after voting and what the key issues were, according to them. We used the survey entries to assess general thoughts of first time voters.
Most felt a sense of pride after voting. They enjoyed the fact that they got to exercise their fundamental right to vote. As this was the first time they could actively take part in a process which defines the Government, most felt happy that they contributed to the nation in some way.
From the responses seen in the survey, it is evident that the Modi wave has not receded. The majority of people who took part in this survey stated that they considered the PM candidate as their first priority while voting. There are a few critical reasons for this:
The people see the PM candidate as a reflection of the party itself. The personality of the leader is considered to be representative of the ideology of the party. It is the party leader who comes forward in the election campaign and by means of speeches, debates, articles communicates the party’s agenda to the public. The PM exercises more power than any other individual in the government. The voters swayed by these factors decided in overwhelming unison that only Modi was fit for the job.
When questioned about their priority order while voting, participants responded with statements such as “PM candidate of the party to which the candidate belonged to.”, “PM Candidate (I know I should not have but the political scenario forced me to)”, “History of candidate. Development done when he was in power. Criminal background.” to just “Modi Ji”, thus cementing the above argument.
In national elections, the relevance of the local candidate comes into question. People are more inclined to think for the entire nation and not just their own constituency while voting. They are ready to sacrifice comfort in their own constituency for the greater good of the nation ensuring that the nation and the central government are in the right hands.
That being said, some voters were more balanced in their approach and considered various factors while voting. Such factors included the party election manifesto, political ideology of the party, and local development. Some said that they looked into the candidate’s past work and their criminal record before deciding.
With such large volumes of political information available today, every young voter is highly informed of the various issues surrounding an election. Since decisions taken are likely to affect us in the near future itself, having young voters vote in large numbers is a great victory for progress in India.