The Telegraph
Friday , April 18 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

Gir lion catches ’em young in vote spree
- Favourite among youngsters, Narendra Modi can happily cash in on youth brigade support

Narendra Modi has spun a web, of dreams, hopes and aspirations, that has caught the imagination of Patna’s youths.

He is the man, they say, with the magic wand, the solver of their problems, the carrier of opportunities, the messiah of employment, the driver of growth.

A drive around the Patna Sahib constituency, that covers major parts of Bihar’s capital city, shows how Modi has captured the imagination of youths. It also suggests that should Modi occupy the chair of the Prime Minister, he will be heavily weighed down by the burden of expectations.

“You may call him autocratic or a Hitler but I believe that at this point of time when the country is going through the toughest phase in the history of India, Narendra Modi is the only person who can save us,” said Hatuwa market resident Vivek Kumar (20), after casting his vote at Sabzibagh booth.

The young brigade seemed not just charged by the thought that there is a man who could pull them out of joblessness and economic mess, but also steer the country to the direction that is expected of a true leader.

Hailing from the trader community, Vivek added: “I don’t think Modi lacks anything. I study commerce in Vanijya Mahavidyalaya and if the UPA government comes back to power, I am sure I would not be able to get a job. But I am sure this would not be the case if Narendra Modi takes charge.”

So what impresses the youths about the man at the helm of affairs in the BJP? “He is one-man army,” pat came the reply from Vivek.

Some youths went up to the extent of saying that the country should produce more such leaders.

Ashish Singh (24), a student of BN College and a resident of Kidwaipuri, said: “It is time to replace the old man Manmohan Singh with an energetic Narendra Modi. Name a single policy implemented by the UPA government that has benefited the youth of this country. The young and the ambitious will not waste their votes on those in the Congress.”

Youths who felt connected with Narendra Modi were not born in a day. From the ground reality it emerged that Modi has not only been able to galvanise the elderly voters but also those below 40.

“That’s the reason why Narendra Modi in his speeches often say that this Lok Sabha elections were linked with the future of the youth and if this opportunity is lost then there will be a wait for another five years,” said Bittu Singh (24), a resident of Maner, around 30km west of Patna.

Such a fan is he that he has named his paan shop — Narendra Modi, A Lion — after the Gujarat chief minister and the famous lions of Gir in the western state.

“I have heard the speeches of Modi. He doesn’t speak, he roars like a lion. I don’t think anybody could stand in front of him. I don’t know how my life will change but I shall surely want to change the way the government runs,” said Singh.

A similar ambience prevailed in Phulwarisharif under the Pataltiputra parliamentary constituency. Youths poured in large numbers hinting at a strong anti-incumbency. “Why not vote for the BJP? Let’s see what they have in store. They should be better than the last government,” said Ashish Gupta, a student.

However, a few leaving the booths felt that it was not over for the Congress. “It would be a kind of a resurrection for the Congress. They would come back with a clear mind and a better government,” said Chhaya Sharma, a PWC student.