for young india, Namo is still the man in charge

Young India’s report card for 2019 polls – This is what it says

Prime Minister Narendra Modi clears the test, an exclusive Ranking Cube Youth survey reveals

About 130 million young adults will get to cast their votes in the next general election.

These first-time voters are part of the growing breed of youngsters who will be crucial in deciding the political fortunes of most parties.

To sense the mood ahead of the 2019 elections, Ranking Cube reached out to over 20,000 youngsters in the age group of 18-34 years. The online survey which saw a mammoth response was conducted over a period of two weeks in April.

On the most important question about leadership, Ranking Cube found out that for a majority of the country’s millennials, Narendra Modi is the topmost choice to lead the country.

Almost 6 out of 10 youngsters trust Narendra Modi to run the country better. However, the fact that a significant 42% youngsters choose other leaders over Modi is something that cannot be ignored.

These included leaders like Mamta Banerjee, Yogi Adityanath, Chandrababu Naidu, Priyanka Gandhi, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Rajnikant among others

This mixed response shows that while there is a Modi wave, not every youngster is willing to ride on it.

There appears to be absolutely no contest between Modi and his closest political rival Arvind Kejriwal. India’s muffler man, who ironically came to power with massive youth support, is more than seven times less popular than the PM. Congress’s blue-eyed boy Rahul Gandhi, seems to be losing more popularity and comes a distant third.

All these three leaders came to the forefront when youngsters in the country were trying to create their own space. It was a huge opportunity for them to connect with the youth. Going by the survey it looks like only Modi was able to strike that chord.

Piggybacking on the Modi wave, BJP also emerges as a clear favorite for 2019. Over 60% of those Ranking Cube reached out to expressed their confidence in voting for the Saffron party. The numbers could rise as another 16% remain undecided about their choice.

Decoding the building blocks

As part of the survey, Ranking Cube posed a series of questions to youngsters to understand their thought process.

Government reforms like demonetization and black money crackdown seem to have worked with a huge number of youngsters believing that they have made a credible impact. For most, this is been seen as an extension of Modi’s promise to root out corruption during his election rallies.

Even his numerous foreign visits seem to have been taken positively. Over 70% youngsters told Ranking Cube that these foreign visits are beneficial for the country, both in terms of international relations and foreign investments.

These factors are some of the most important reasons why almost 60% youngsters believe that Modi has fulfilled his promise of ‘Acche Din’.

A good 25% youngsters seem to not buy into this promise while another 17% thought that it is too early to decide.

These positive numbers, however, run contrary to the general perception of growing dissatisfaction among the youth.

While there is no concrete proof to show the demonetization effect vis-a-vis corruption, official data from the labour bureau show that the Modi government has fallen way short of the promised 10 million new jobs. With 10-15 lakh youth entering the job market each month, India’s organised sector created only about 4.95 jobs in 2014, 1.35 lakh jobs  in 2015 – lowest in six years and 4.16 lakh jobs in 2016-2017.

When Ranking Cube touched on the issues that have hurt the government’s image, rising communal incidents and intolerance seem to be of top-most concern for most youngsters.  Branding people with opposing views as anti-nationals came out as another troubling aspect.

In terms of priorities for the next government, employment and education remain the focus areas

Youngsters hold the key 

Over 65% of the country’s population is below the age of 35. Their sheer strength gives youngsters the power to shape a party’s destiny. Winning them over is not just crucial but also inescapable.

Going by the Ranking Cube survey, it looks like Prime Minister Narendra Modi has deciphered the writing on the wall, much ahead of others.

From Radio to Facebook to Twitter, Modi and his party have been tapping into every media platform available to engage with the youth. Even on ground events are regularly organized to touch base with college-going and the working crowd.

So far, this strategy seems to have worked well for the BJP. But it needs to be seen if all these efforts will actually translate into more power for Modi and his party. The 2019 elections will be that reality check.

  • 1