Youth wings scramble to woo youngsters in Karnataka

A file photo of youngsters after casting their votes in a byelection in Bengaluru.
| Photo Credit: K. MURALI KUMAR


Ahead of the Karnataka Assembly elections, the youth wings of all three major political parties — BJP, Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) — in Karnataka are trying to engage with young voters.

While the ruling BJP’s youth wing is connecting with young voters by hosting meet and greet events by Union ministers and senior leaders of the party, the youth wings of the opposition Congress and JD (S) are reaching out to young voters on employment and inflation issues.

Unemployment stipend

Meanwhile, the opposition Congress is connecting with the youth by raising various issues pertaining to them. The Karnataka Pradesh Youth Congress Committee (KPYCC) is focusing on problems like unemployment and inflation and trying to engage them through the ‘Yuva Dhwani’ programme. The party has promised a monthly stipend of ₹3,000 for every unemployed graduate and ₹1,500 for unemployed diploma holders under Yuva Nidhi, if elected to power in Karnataka.

The KPYCC leaders said that they had conducted unemployment surveys in all districts to understand the issues from the grassroots level. General Secretary of National Youth Congress M.S. Raksha Ramaiah has been given the responsibility of attracting first-time voters and youth. He recently launched the “Yuva Mata” campaign to attract youngsters to voting booths.

“First-timers would be attracted towards Congress for its comprehensive development of the State. We have also announced a monthly stipend programme for unemployed youths. As an opposition party, it is our responsibility to create awareness among youth about problems like unemployment and inflation being faced in the State,” Mr. Ramaiah said.

Union ministers roped in

BJP Yuva Morcha (BJYM) has been trying to reach out to the youth with various initiatives and also giving information about the schemes launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The party has also conducted Yuva Samvada events across the state.

Recently, as part of Yuva Samvada, the party hosted an interaction meet and greet event organised by MPs P.C. Mohan and Tejasvi Surya at Cubbon Park in Bengaluru, where External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar had an informal conversion with Cubbon Park walkers and the general public where Mr. Jaishankar spoke on the significance of hosting the G-20 Summit in India, relationship with Russia and China, priorities of the Quad and India’s humanitarian efforts in Syria, Turkey and Afghanistan.

“Our party has been able to reach out to the youth through social media, and now we are also holding one-to-one interaction events in various educational institutions, residents’ welfare associations, and public places. As part of these events, senior ministers in the central government will be participating. Apart from Mr. Jaishankar, Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have also participated in such interaction events,” a Karnataka BJYM leader told The Hindu.

Rural young voters

Karnataka Yuva Janata Dal, the youth wing of the JD (S) led by former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy’s son actor turned politician Nikhil Kumaraswamy has also been organising youth conventions in various districts of the state to connect with young voters.

The party has been active on various social media platforms this election and also connecting with rural youth through social media. Speaking to The Hindu, Prathap L. Kanagal, JD(S) spokesperson, said, “We had organised youth conventions and bike rallies in various districts to connect with youth. The major issues which we are focusing on are regional issues, including unemployment, Hindi imposition and the issues faced by young farmers in the State.”

The party has also increased their social media presence at the booth level, targeting youth in rural Karnataka. Mr. Kanagal said that they had sent three volunteers from the social media wing to various constituencies to work with their candidates and improve their social media presence.

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