Elections in Goa: Give us water, electricity, better roads, new voters say | Goa News

PANAJI: With the third wave of Covid-19 pushing lectures into virtual mode and impending exams straining their brains, students in Goa may currently be under academic stress. Despite this, their minds are clear when it comes to choosing a leader in their respective constituencies.
“We have candidates who promise us startups and industries while some villages in Goa still lack roads, electricity and water supply. We need a leader to help rural women become financially independent through self-help groups, improving schools and providing jobs for young people,” said Maithili Chumbalkar, a 19-year-old student who will have her index finger inked for the very first time.
More than 11.6 lakh registered voters will come to choose Goa’s next government on Monday, of which 29,479 are first-time voters in the 18-19 age bracket. These young voters have a lot to say about their expectations vis-à-vis the new representatives of the State.
“We need better facilities for transport, medical equipment, waste treatment, regular electricity supply, education and drinking water. The manifestos they wrote are attractive, but there should be someone who delivers on the promises. They must also be able to balance environment and development,” said 18-year-old Chaitrali Kalla Naga.
Jane De Souza, 19, said candidates should act as soon as a finger is pointed at a problem, instead of inconveniencing citizens with multiple delays. “We want the roads to be repaired as soon as they are damaged, a continuous supply of water and the eradication of unemployment. Also, we want leaders to listen to us when we approach them with an issue instead of pushing us aside,” she said.
This is also the age group that has seen large scale participation in environmental and heritage awareness raising on issues relating to Mollem and the Old Goa heritage site.
“All parties have caused the socio-environmental destruction of Goa,” 18-year-old Evanthika Pereira told TOI. “State policy is steeped in corruption which results in the embezzlement of huge sums of money and leaves good environmental policies unimplemented and politicians left behind. With the dissemination of environmental education to students from KG to PG, paradoxically, our elected officials turn a blind eye to it.
With social media abuzz with minute-long videos and digital marketing teams from various candidates or parties burning midnight oil to keep internet users informed, young voters find themselves rather amused by the frequency of developments in their respective constituencies.
“Over the years, only MGP, BJP and Congress have stood for election. But this time (except 2017) we also have Delhi and Bengal festivals. Local parties like the GFP and RGP, in addition to independent candidates, are also likely to provide stiff competition to some of those vying for the big party tickets. The election this time is very exciting,” said 19-year-old Rajat Morajkar.

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