Gujarat: Parties going high-tech to woo youth

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November 24, 2012

Gujarat: With assembly polls in Gujarat due next month and campaigning reaching a fever pitch, political parties have gone high-tech to woo youth voters who constitute 56 per cent of the 38-million electors.

November 24, 2012

Gujarat: With assembly polls in Gujarat due next month and campaigning reaching a fever pitch, political parties have gone high-tech to woo youth voters who constitute 56 per cent of the 38-million electors.

Latest technology which was absent in the last battle of ballots in 2007 is being extensively used by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Congress and even the newly-formed Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) to reach out to youngsters.

Last Sunday, tech-savvy Modi heralded a new era in election campaigning when the state's longest-serving chief minister used, for the first time in India, the rare 3D audio-visual technology for simultaneously addressing public meetings in four cities of the state.

Modi even has at its disposal an entire BJP-sponsored TV channel, , beaming his speeches round the clock. If the saffronites are also using social networking sites on the internet for praising the development in the state during Modi's 11-year regime, the Congress is in the web war with the BJP to explode the myth of 'vibrant Gujarat'.

While the Congress has launched an initiative called 'join hands for change' on popular social networking sites, its main opponent, the BJP, has launched a web page, Gujarat Truth, which presents '11 truths on 11 years of effective governance in Gujarat', both pages being full of scathing posts, infographics, videos, caricatures and even sarcastic illustrations.

However, the one who takes the cake is GPP's 84-year-old president and Modi's predecessor Keshubhai Patel, blogging day after day to blast Modi for offering sops to his favourite industrialists and ignoring farmers, 36 of whom have committed suicide in the recent past.

But the fact that even an octogenarian like Patel has created a blog to call Modi names shows that they all want to target young men and women. Well, at least 56 per cent of the electorate in Gujarat are aged between 18 and 39 years.

Of the total 38 million voters, 1.3 million are first-time voters while nearly 10 million are aged between 20 years and 29 years, and another 9.3 million voters are aged between 30 and 39 years. Obviously, no party can turn a blind eye toward these 21-million-odd voters in the age group of 18-39 years.

The 2012 Gujarat ballotbox battle itself is the first fully computer-aided elections. This is the first time that any election, right from the stage of preparing and updating voters' rolls to the final results, will be conducted with the extensive aid and support of computers and electronics.


Courtesy: KTimes