Indian political parties and leaders are courting young voters for the upcoming general elections and the age of political leaders like L.K. Advani and Rahul Gandhi is being made into an electoral issue.
After all nearly two-thirds of India is below 35 years of age, the cut-off for ‘youth’ according to the National Youth Policy.
A number of surveys and studies seem to suggest otherwise.
One nation-wide survey reported in the ‘Mint’ newspaper shows voters may not quite prefer “fresh and young” candidates, with two-thirds of the 17,640 people sampled preferring experienced candidates.
A series of post-poll surveys carried out since 1996 by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies shows voter turnout is highest in the age group 46-55. The turnout in the age group 18-25 has been consistently lower.
However, a study by the Imagindia institute says parties that put up candidates in the age group 30-45 have an advantage. This is based on what the institute calls ‘Age-Voter pulse model’. It assumes that the ability of a candidate to connect with the pulse of voters depends upon the age difference with the electorate.