The young blood gets negated once again when it comes to ticket distribution in India.
With fate of three fourth of all Parliamentary seats to be sealed by the end of Friday, the verdict on young candidates this poll is already out. The sixth phase poll is on today for 117 seats. Earlier, voting for 232 seats concluded at the end of the fifth phase. Three big ticket parties-Congress, BJP and AAP- that fielded above 400 candidates each had little or no room for young candidates as they all trusted experience. The percentage of young candidates in AAP at the end of the sixth phase is 57.5 per cent while as for BJP it is 36.65 per cent. Congress trails at 36.45 per cent. The average age of candidates announced by AAP is 47 years as against 44 of Congress. For BJP it is 40. This is for candidates fielded by these parties until the end of sixth phase covering 349 constituencies.
Candidates under the age of 50 years have been categorized as young for the quick survey. AAP, the young anti-graft party, has fielded maximum 172 young candidates out of 299 candidates it declared for six election phases. BJP’s young candidates tally stood at 103 out of 281 while Congress fielded 105 youngsters out of a total of 288 candidates. This election Congress under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi was expected to lead the representation to youngsters. Instead the party went traditional while Gandhi had proclaimed to induct primary system to identify candidates. Given that this time a record first time voters would vote to choose the next government, younger candidates might have generally offered a greater connect offering new hope and direction. But political parties have obviously not seen much merit in the argument. A study of candidates shows no clear pattern parties adopt in choosing their candidates. What is clear, however, is that the parties have relied heavily, as always, on dynasty and celebrity quotient in their quest for victory.
Importantly, dynasty wears no particular political colour in India. It is all pervasive. This poll too has seen the entry of many such family politicians. The silver lining though here is that at least some of them are generally young. In the fray are: Chirag Paswan, son of Ram Vilas Paswan, Karti Chidambaram, son of finance minister P.Chidambaram, Poonam Mahajan, daughter of late Pramod Mahajan as also Gaurav Gogoi, son of Tarun Gogoi, among others. The deployment of celebrities is another factor for less registration of young candidates. Some young and well known faces fielded this year by BJP are Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore from Jaipur (rural), Kirron Kher from Chandigarh, Shatrughan Sinha from Patnasaheb and Manoj Tiwari from North East Delhi. In NCR, AAP fielded well known journalists and film stars like Ashish khetan, Jarnail Singh, Ashutosh, Shazia Ilmi and Gul Panag from Chandigarh. Congress also does not shy away from fielding the celebrities. It fielded Raj Babbar and Nagma.
The message for youngsters seeking a career as an MP is: shun restlessness and be patient, your day too shall come!