Mrunal Manmay Dash

As the general elections are getting nearer with each passing day, the three major parties in Odisha, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress are racing against each other to woo young voters.

While the BJD is on a scheme-launching spree before the Model Code of Conduct comes into effect in Odisha, the BJP is all set to counter them by organising a State-wide voter-awareness programme. And the Congress is mulling to train the youths and students for the elections.

From ‘Ama Odisha Nabin Odisha’ where the BJD-led government is distributing sports equipment to rural youths to ‘Nua Odisha,’ where the youths will be imparted skill training, the ruling party has been launching scheme after scheme to woo this section of voters. So much so that the 5T secretary recently discussed the Odisha government’s schemes with college students during his last visit to Khordha.

The BJD is also reportedly preparing a blueprint to train the active members of the party for the next elections. In this regard, the Conch party is gearing up to launch ‘Ghare Ghare Sankha’ campaign in the State.

“We conduct the ‘Ghare Ghare Sankha’ programme regularly. The party also conducts primary and active membership drives at the Panchayat level too. The organisational activities of political parties generally intensify ahead of every election. So this is quite natural,” said BJD’s Prashant Muduli.

To counter that, the BJP has taken up Voter Awareness Programme (Matdata Sachetanata Karyakram) in the State in which the members of the party will sensitise youths about the Modi government’s youth-empowering initiatives. The BJP will also enrol new voters in the voter list through this campaign. As per reports, the BJP will try to enrol at least 50 new voters in each booth and 10,000 new voters in every Assembly Constituency.

“We have launched a Millennium Voter Connect Programme to bring more and more youths into our fold. They will be made aware of their role in the current political scenario and how they can use different social media tools they already have at their disposal,” said BJP Yuva Morcha President, Abhilash Panda.

Apart from that the BJP is also conducting murals and wall painting campaigns in several parts of the State to create awareness.

Meanwhile, Congress too has mulled to train the students and youth voters to prepare them for elections.

“We are already on a mission to strengthen the Chhatra, Yuva, OBC, SC&ST cells of the Congress party. We will shortly launch Ghar Ghar Congress in the State too,” informed Odisha Congress Chief, Sarat Pattanayak.

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