Press Trust of india

‘Ballot over bullets’, ‘jobs over freebies’: First-time voters’ priorities for Delhi polls

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New Delhi, Feb 8 :  “Ballot over bullets” and “jobs over freebies” were among the priorities for many of the first-time voters who queued up at polling booths, excited to exercise their franchise.

Also among the first-time voters were Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s son Rehan, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s son Pulkit Kejriwal and Congress leader Ajay Maken’s son AujaswiMaken.

“I kept those at the lowest strata who are just able to make their ends meet in mind before I pressed the (EVM) button. The new-generation electorate would vote for equality, development, healthcare, education and clean air,” said 21-year-old Akshay Singh.

Praveen Punj, a first-time voter at Tilak Nagar polling booth said, “We can’t fight these forces with bullets. Even if they fire, we should not. They can only be fought with ballot. Happy to have made my contribution for the first time.”

He also posted a selfie on social media showing his inked finger with a caption “ballot over bullets #firsttime”.

“Employment should be the topmost agenda for any voter to decide. Rest everything is secondary. Light, water… whatever amenities, even if they are expensive they can be availed if there is income. So my vote is for jobs rather than freebies,” said Prahalad Kumar, a first-time voter in Nangloi.

Standing in a queue outside a polling booth in Chandni Chowk constituency Rahul and his friend Karan, both first-time voters, said they were going to vote for development.

“The present government has done good things like waiving charges for water and power supply,” Rahul, a housekeeping worker at a hospital, said.

SonkashiRanjan, who exercised her franchise at a polling booth in Ashoka Road area, said, “Voters should not idolise any party or candidate. Work and development should be the primary factor. I would on any day chose development over nationalism.”

Sadaf Mehboob (18), a student of Jamia Millia University, who cast her vote from a polling station in Shaheen Bagh, said, “My vote has gone for a party that has worked for development in the last five years.”

“My vote has gone for better education, health, and jobs for the youth, as I am one. It was heartening to see so many youth coming out to vote in Shaheen Bagh area that has become the epicentre of anti-CAA protests in Delhi,” she added.

Kejriwal’s son Pulkit said he felt good after voting for the first time. When asked if his father will be the chief minister again, he said whoever people choose will become the CM.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s son Rehan said public transport should be more affordable for students.

Polling for the 70 seats of Delhi assembly began at 8 am on Saturday amid tight security. The votes will be counted on February 11.

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