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Punjab polls: Just 57% young first-time voters got inked

Only 57% newly registered voters, aged 18 and 19, exercised their franchise during the Punjab assembly elections held on February 20, according to data sourced from the chief electoral office
The turnout of young first-time voters turns out to be 15% lower than the overall voting in Punjab, which stood at 72%. (HT File Photo)
Published on Mar 06, 2022 01:28 AM IST
Only 57% newly registered voters, aged 18 and 19, exercised their franchise during the Punjab assembly elections held on February 20, according to data sourced from the chief electoral office. The turnout of these young first-time voters turns out to be 15% lower than the overall voting in the state, which stood at 72%.

According to data, 3,48,836 first-time electors in the 18-19 age group were registered by the Election Commission of India (ECI) ahead of the elections in Punjab, but only 1,99,023 exercised their voting right across 117 assembly segments in 23 districts.

Fatehgarh Sahib recorded the highest turnout, where 74.6% of 7,600 eligible voters in the 18-19 age group cast their ballot. Mohali lagged behind with just 32.1% voting seen in this age group, even as 10,651 teens had been issued voter cards.

In terms of registrations, Ludhiana led with 36,096. At 57.1%, the district’s turnout was similar to the state’s average. Jalandhar followed with 30,918 young first-time voters, of whom 47.6% got inked, while Hoshiarpur stood third with 24,157 such eligible voters, of whom 66.7% turned up at polling booths.

Even as the ECI and district administrations had taken up various initiatives on the polling day, including first-time voting certificates, selfie points and model polling stations, besides conducting many awareness activities ahead of the elections to encourage the young voters, the turnout remained poor.

A deputy commissioner posted in Doaba Region, seeking anonymity, said the poor figures could be because many youngsters in the 18-19 age group are studying elsewhere and didn’t return to their home towns and villages to cast their votes. “Many times, families also avoid calling their kids for voting due to the fear of fights in the elections, especially in border districts,” said the senior official.

Prof Ashutosh Kumar from the department of political science, Panjab University, attributed it to the “youth’s alienation from politics, parties and political class”. “Many youngsters have completely lost hope in the future of Punjab, and blame politicians and parties for it. They think why to vote as there is nothing for them in Punjab, and instead they all look forward to move abroad,” he said

Even overall in 2022, Punjab registered the lowest footfall at polling booths after the 2002 state elections. Of 2.14 crore registered voters, only 1.54 crore (72%) voted, more than 5% drop in turnout since 2017, when it stood at 77.4%

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15 minutes ago, proactive said:

It looks like Simranjit Singh Mann has come second but the Deep Singh factor almost worked for him. He got about 30% of the vote in Amargarh and in nearby Mehal Kalan, his candidate came second with 20% of the vote. His son Eman Singh Mann came 3rd with 10% of the vote. His other candidates managed just 4-5% of the vote. The AAP wave was too strong, people wanted change and unfortunately the Panthic party could not place itself as that change. Lakha Sidhana came second with 20% of the vote in Maur. And our friend Rajewal got just 4% of the vote in Samrala coming 6th! The Akali Dal(A) candidate here came 4th with 6.5% of the vote. 

However, the good news is that both Badals have lost and this is the best news from these elections and their party looks like it has gone down to just 3 seats at best. Such has been the defeat that if the party wants to survive they will need to ditch the Badals and with them their control of the SGPC. If the Badals lose the SGPC elections then they will be finally finished and their influence over the Panth finished for ever. Had the SAD(B) retained over 10 seats then they could have survived but not with just 3 seats. The BJP looks like they will also have less than 5 seats. 

The SAD has to ditch the Badals and Majithias now otherwise it will never rule the state again.  The next 5 years will be interesting. How will Bhagwant Mann an acknowledged sharabi kababi rule Punjab, the fact is Kejriwal will be in control. The AAP winning candidates consist of rejects and rebels from other parties as well as new faces who are inexperienced. If the do some good for Punjab then we should welcome it but the chances are that the rejects will suffer the same infighting as the Congress faced under Navjot Sidhu. Let's see how Kejriwal now lives up to his promise of rs1000 a month for every adult female in the state. That's 8 million women each getting rs1000 a month = 96 000 million rupees. Let's see how he's able to pay that. He also promised that after 5 years those who had gone abroad for jobs will be coming back to Punjab for jobs. He's promised the earth to Punjabis and now let's see if he delivers. 


lol modi promised everyone will get 15 lakhs in their bank accounts after he brings back congress corruption money. What happened?

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