The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the ruling Biju Janata Dal(BJD) have set their sight on new and young voters. Both the parties have drawn up strategies to strike a rapport with this segment of voters.
As per reports, about 7 lakh new voters are expected to exercise their franchise in the 2024 elections in the state.
While the BJD has been holding ‘Nua O’ programme at colleges and promoting competitions among college students via social media to grab the young voters, the BJP has planned to organise meetings with new voters on January 25 at 250 places. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will directly interact with the newbie voters in virtual mode at 5,000 conferences across the country, including 250 places in Odisha.
Besides, BJP state leaders will also attend young voters’ conventions to get to know about their issues, problems in college campuses and the Odia pride. The party has planned to hold each meeting with at least 1000 new voters aged below 25.
The BJP had a brainstorming session recently on the plan at Rourkela to connect with the young people.Odisha in-charge Sunil Bansal held a discussion in this regard with the leaders of the BJP Yuba Morcha at the state party office on Friday.
Abhilash Panda, state president of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), “The young voters should put themselves on the forefront and take a crucial role in the upcoming elections in overthrowing the BJD government and in forming the VJP government in Odisha. We have planned ‘Yuba Matadata Sammilani’ at 250 places in Odisha to connect with them.”
Minister of Higher Education, Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, said, “This is a new programme of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for students. We are not doing it to attract young voters. We are doing it for the development of students. The BJP just remembers the students only at the time of elections.”
On the other hand, the BJD government has been carrying out various cultural programmes under ‘Nua O’ at colleges and universities by providing funds ranging from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 9 lakh. Moreover, the BJD government has planned to hold various shorts and reels video competitions among college students with the provision of cash prizes. The competitions will go on till February 26.
However, it remains to be seen whose strategies would be more effective to win the young voters.