The one-month long campaign for Electioneering in Manipur was centered on youth. The two-phased poll saw a record turn out i.e. 86.5 per cent in the first phase and 87 per cent in the second phase. There is an average increase of 6 per cent in voting and the Election Commission believes that it is because of the youth who turned out in large numbers.
“The credit much to go to the youth and first-time voters. They not only turned out for cast votes but took active participation in awareness campaign” Said the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) V.K Dawangan
The Election commission organised several awareness campaigns and used Music and sports to attract youth.
Manipur has over 19 Lakh voters, of which about 40 per cent are youths and there are 55000 first time voters.
“As a first-time voter, I realized that it’s my right and I thought a lot over whom I should vote for. Most of my friends think in the same way. This is because we do not want to see stalemate continue in our state” said Rajesh Meitei a first time Voter from Thoubal where Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh is locked in a straight fight with Irom Sharmila and BJP’s young candidate Bashanta Singh.
The EC has organised a special ballot jam where local bands from Manipur performed. There were many Sports events organised and in every constituency, the first ten young voters were given mementos from the EC.
“We were very happy with the way EC engaged youngsters this time. Earlier elections and politics were seen as a boring thing. We also understand that this poll is very crucial for Manipur for several reasons” Lilita Devi, a young IT professional from Imphal added.