NEW DELHI :
Catch ’em young seems to be the mantra for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)—it has launched its election campaign with a digital film called “Youth with Modi", aimed at connecting with first-time voters. The two-minute long film features a young man assuring his father that he will be a responsible citizen casting his first vote.
The film equates a vote as a citizen’s voice and not a mere stamp, urging young voters to come out and support Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the forthcoming general elections. The BJP has rehashed its 2014 tagline to “Abki baar, phir Modi sarkar" (loosely translated to let’s bring back the Modi government).
The campaign is being heavily promoted across social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.
“The first-time voter turnout will invariably be high in a young country like India. We have launched an awareness campaign on National Voters Day urging first-time voters to exercise their voting rights," said Kuljeet Singh Chahal, general secretary, BJP, Delhi, and national council member of the party.
“In 2014, young India voted for Narendra Modi and in this election there’s a mood to continue supporting the Prime Minister. We are appealing to first-time voters to come out and support Prime Minister Modi. The BJP will leverage all methods of campaigning ahead of the elections," Chahal said.
Modi also leveraged the radio platform. Delivering his first Mann Ki Baat address of 2019 on 27 January, he urged young voters to come out and vote. “This year, the Lok Sabha elections will be held in our country and this will be the first time that youth born after 2000 will vote. An opportunity has come for them to take the responsibility of the nation on their shoulders. They are now going to become partners in the decision-making process of the country. I urge the youth to register themselves as voters," said Modi.
Meanwhile, the official social media handles of the BJP and its ministers have been promoting the youth-related work government has done in the last four years. This includes schemes such as Khelo India, Indian Railways recruitment drive, Kaushal Vikas Yojana, Eklavya Model Residential Schools, PM Research Fellowship, Atal Tinkering Labs and Mudra loans.
Mint reported earlier that the government is expected to spend ₹2,000-2,500 crore on advertisements on its social welfare schemes in the run-up to the 2019 general elections, compared to the ₹1,286 crore it had spent in 2016-2017.