Bhopal: Young voters are set to play a key role in the Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh and realising their potential to influence the final outcome both the ruling BJP and Opposition Congress are aggressively wooing them.
A record 23.60 lakh electors would be eligible to exercise their right to vote for the first time in the Assembly polls scheduled for November 25.
Madhya Pradesh has a total of 4,65,07,121 electorates, including 2,20,01,741 women. Among them 23,59,304 are in the age group of 18-19 years, while 1,40,94,850 fall in the 20-29 category, sources in the Chief Electoral Office here said.
When put together, these two groups, totalling 1,64,54,154, form a large chunk of the total voter base in the State, which has a 230-member Assembly.
Keeping in mind the power of young voters, both BJP and Congress are pulling out all the stops to attract them.
In fact, the ruling party has been wooing them with a slew of schemes related to education and employment, the two most important issues concerning them.
"Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was aware of this issue and had organised Mukhyamantri Yuva Panchayat to announce a slew of measures related to employment and education to attract the youth towards the party," state BJP media in-charge Hitesh Bajpai said.
The schemes included interest subsidy and bank guarantee on loan for setting up industrial units. Notable among them is `Mukhyamantri Yuva Swarojgar Yojna`, a self-employment scheme under which Government will give 5 per cent subsidy on interest and 100 per cent bank guarantee on a loan of Rs 25 lakh for setting up an industry.
For small-scale industries requiring an investment of Rs 50,000, Government will give 20 per cent margin money, 100 per cent guarantee on bank loan and 5 per cent subsidy on interest, Bajpai said.
The scheme will motivate the youth to opt for self-employment in a big way, he said.