Delhi polls: First-timers eager to vote and show off

Renu Dass, 19, is excited about voting in the Delhi assembly election Saturday. Besides casting her maiden vote, the Delhi University student is waiting for the dark purple ink mark to be smeared on her finger nail to show off to friends, and maybe Tweet or Facebook a selfie of herself with the marked finger, as proof.

IANS| Last Updated: Feb 06, 2015, 17:58 PM IST

New Delhi: Renu Dass, 19, is excited about voting in the Delhi assembly election Saturday. Besides casting her maiden vote, the Delhi University student is waiting for the dark purple ink mark to be smeared on her finger nail to show off to friends, and maybe Tweet or Facebook a selfie of herself with the marked finger, as proof.

"As it will be my first time voting opportunity, I will make sure I reach the polling booth early. I In fact want to see how they do it," Dass said, adding that she would try and take all her friends, first-timers like her, along to vote.

She said the first thing she will do will be to photograph herself with the finger and upload it on the social networking sites. "I want to be the first one among my friends to show off the ink mark," said the excited Dass.

The Delhi election will see around 1.72 lakh (172,000) first-time voters in the 18-19 age group. Minimum age of suffrage in India is 18.

"We have taken several initiatives to create a buzz about voting. We are sure the first- timers would come out and vote and be part of the democratic process,"

Delhi`s Chief Electoral Officer Chandra Bhushan Kumar said.

The total number of voters in the city is around 1,30,85,251 (13 million), of which 72,60,633 are men and 58,24,618 are women. The population of young voters

stands at 1.31 percent of the total electors` population, Kumar added.

"During the special summary revision, 159,854 new voters were added after publication of draft roll on Oct 15, 2014," he said.

Yusoof Junaid, 20, has been waiting for Feb 7 as he would get a chance to vote for the first time to elect somebody who he thinks would do "well for the city I live in".

"I didn`t get a chance to vote last time in December 2013 as I was away, but this time around, I will make sure that I vote for my favourite political party," Junaid said.

"I am super excited about me voting to elect my leader and my party," he said.

According to Dass, the main issues the national capital is facing are the need for more schools and colleges, women`s security and employment for the young.

"My voting right is my privilege and I am going to exercise it for a candidate who can actually deliver," she said adding that gone are the days when nobody would question the lawmakers.

"I would like my elected government to be answerable and transparent in whatever it does," she said.

Suraj Bhatia, 20, who lives in Kamla Nagar and works with a private firm, says he would take leave from office as he does not want to miss his first voting chance.

"The authorities are doing a lot to inspire the youth to vote. People who work with the government companies would certainly get their day off on the voting day.

But I too would make sure that I cast my vote even if I have to take leave," Bhatia said.

Seema, 18, Raveesh 20, Saif-ur-Rehman 19, and Mamta, 20, who are students of Delhi University, are eager to vote and are "looking forward" to Feb 7. They want polling authorities to make the voting procedure a "hassle free" affair as it could be "boring" standing in voting queues for long time.

"I want it to be a smooth process. I can`t stand there for long hours," Mamta said, adding that most of her friends are going to vote so that they can show off and put their photographs on social networking sites.

They also felt that voting should be "pleasant affair"; otherwise young people may not wait and might slip out for a movie show or something more exciting.

The number of total eligible voters in 2013 assembly polls was 1.19 crore, or nearly 12 million.