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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 22 May 2024

'Voting is not just a right but a responsibility also': Young Arunachalis ready to vote

The first-time voters in Arunachal Pradesh constitute 46,144 of the total 8,82,816 electorate

PTI Itanagar Published 31.03.24, 06:48 AM
An undated photo of security personnel and polling officials at a polling station at Malogam, Arunachal Pradesh.

An undated photo of security personnel and polling officials at a polling station at Malogam, Arunachal Pradesh. PTI file picture

For many first-time voters in Arunachal Pradesh, voting is not just a right but a responsibility also for building a strong base for a vibrant democracy.

The first-time voters in Arunachal Pradesh constitute 46,144 of the total 8,82,816 electorate. Voting for the two Lok Sabha constituencies and the 60-member Arunachal Pradesh Assembly will be held simultaneously on April 19.

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Eighteen-year-old Millo Sunyo who will vote for the first time said: “Voting is not just a right but a responsibility of all eligible voters to exercise their adult franchise for building a strong base for a vibrant democracy.” She says elections should be free of money culture, and freebies such as the distribution of petrol, diesel, liquor, edibles and so on.

Sunya, who hails from the Ziro-Hapoli Assembly constituency, said people, especially new voters, should turn out in good numbers as it is essential for a healthy
democratic process.

“Many a time, we criticise the government but skip participating in the voting process,” said 23-year-old Mingo Ete, who hails from Aalo in West Siang district, and will exercise his franchise for the first time.

Ete says as a first-time voter, he would like his representatives in the assembly and parliament to be accessible, accountable and transparent in their actions, keeping constituents informed about progress and addressing their concerns. He also expects his representatives to uphold ethical standards and respect democracy.

“Voters should choose a candidate who demonstrates a commitment to these responsibilities and can effectively address local needs,” he said.

Ete said capable and honest people should be voted and corrupt politicians should be shown the door. “We must choose the right leader who has the potential to bring changes in our society,” he said, adding that as educated voters we must not allow “money culture” to influence voters. “As a voter, I know the value of a vote and my vote should count”, Ete said.

“I would vote for a capable and honest person, who will work to bring in developmental changes,” he said. Citing unemployment among youth as a huge problem in the state, Ete said he would like his leader to solve the common problem.

Eighteen-year-old Gedo Kato, who will vote for the first time in the Assembly and parliamentary polls from the Liromoba constituency, said: “I am not interested in politics.”

“I will vote for a candidate who my parents ask me to,” Kato said.

Nineteen-year-old Chukhu Y., who is a first-time voter, echoed Kato’s take, saying, “I will vote for whoever my parents ask me to.”

Originally from Lower Subansiri district, she will cast her vote from Itanagar, this time. “I personally would like to elect a leader who has a pleasing personality and who will fight against corruption and work for the welfare of the educated unemployed youth,” she said.

Nani Bath, the political science professor at Rajiv Gandhi University, said: “I don’t think our youth are interested in the political process.” Many of them don’t have much idea about the issues and politics, he said.

“My understanding is that many of the young voters tend to vote on issues in the parliamentary elections. In the Assembly elections, they follow their parents and elders,” Bath added.

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