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First-time voters brave the heat in Ranchi to get inked [Ranchi] [Times of India]
[April 18, 2014]

First-time voters brave the heat in Ranchi to get inked [Ranchi] [Times of India]

(Times of India Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) RANCHI: No sooner did the clock strike 6.30 on Thursday morning, than Ravinder Ahuja jumped out of his bed. The 21-year-old, who is pursuing software engineering from Kolkata, had reached the city a day in advance to cast his first vote. A habitual late riser, Ahuja was quick to grab his motorcycle keys and head for the polling station in Purulia Road. "My friends and I wanted to be the first ones to vote and get our fingers inked," Ahuja said.

Ahuja is not alone. Hundreds of young voters queued outside polling stations across the capital on Thursday to exercise their franchise for the first time. They patiently waited for hours under the scorching sun and weighed the candidates in poll fray before casting their precious vote for the Ranchi parliamentary seat.

Neha Agarwal, a 22-year-old commerce student of Ranchi University, voted to make the country safe for women. "Crimes against women have gone up in the past few years and I would like the new government to ensure safety for women," she added.

Dilbagh Singh, on the other hand, wanted enough employment opportunities for the youth. "Employment generation is a pressing issue in Jharkhand. This needs to be taken seriously and I am sure candidates are considering it with priority," said the 21-year-old, wiping the sweat off his forehead at a queue in Ashok Nagar.

While hundreds cast their votes for the first time, many headed back home after they were denied access. Mohammad Sajjad (19), a resident of Hindpirhi, could not find his name in the electoral roll. "I got my voter card only a month ago and was very eager to vote. They (polling officers at Guru Nanak School in PP compound) would not let me in," he added. "I have to wait till the assembly elections to cast my vote," he added.

The state election commission received 122 complaints of EVMs which were out of order on Thursday. "Most of the complaints arrived before polling started and the EVMs were replaced immediately," Jajoria said. However Jajoria dismissed provisions of re-polling in all the six candidates.

(c) 2014 Bennett, Coleman & Company Limited

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