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BJP will have greater focus on youth vote in 2024

NewsBJP will have greater focus on youth vote in 2024

NEW DELHI: Of the 302 present Bharatiya Janata Party Lok Sabha members, 17 are in the age bracket of 68-69 years, 52 are in the age group of 70-80 years, while two MPs are above 80 years old. In total, the party has 71 MPs who will be 70 years and above when the Lok Sabha elections are announced next year, which comes to 24% of the total sitting MPs.
Among those prominent names who are of 70 years are S.S. Ahluwalia, Dr Subhash Ramrao Bhamre, P.P. Chaudhary, Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Devaragunda Venkappa Sadananda Gowda, Hema Malini, Kirron Kher, Arjun Ram Meghwal, Shripad Yesso Naik, Jagdambika Pal, Rao Inderjit Singh, Radha Mohan Singh and others.
A sitting Rajya Sabha member of the party told The Sunday Guardian that it is unlikely that most MPs breaching this age-criterion will be denied ticket. What will count is the goodwill of the BJP in her or his constituency and the quantum of effort put in for the party during his or her tenure.
“There are seats where the sitting MP, despite being in the 70s, is the party’s strongest candidate. Similarly, we will have to also factor in the caste angle in many of these seats and if there is no suitable leader to replace the MP then he will not be dropped. Apart from these criteria, there are some MPs who share a very warm personal rapport with the leadership and with the RSS and hence may get one last opportunity to contest despite crossing the age barrier. The broader policy which the party leadership will keep in mind while selecting candidates,” the MP said, relates to a special effort to attract the youth vote, including first-time voters. Prime Minister Narendra Modi offers the promise of a better future, and this is expected to be critical in the youth vote in 2024. .
In 2019, the BJP leadership had announced that it was not going to give tickets to those leaders who are of the age of 75 years and above. The average age of the candidates that the BJP fielded in 2019 was 55 years. This average age may further come down in the 2024 list.
According to people involved in the party’s strategies, the idea is to ensure that the young leaders get more chances and also “ideas and policies” that are relevant in the present time become a part of the political debates inside Parliament and in policymaking.
“There is already a well settled system of Rajya Sabha where senior leaders can go and use their experience and wisdom to formulate policies. In Lok Sabha, the larger number could consist of relatively ‘younger MPs’. The average age of BJP Lok Sabha MPs is gradually coming down,” the MP said.
As per the 2011 census, 31.5% of India’s population is between the age bracket of 25 and 45. However, the Lok Sabha MPs in this age criterion, cutting across party lines, are only 22%, point out those favouring an emphasis on youth. To that has to be balanced considerations of experience and public goodwill.

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