GUWAHATI, April 3 � Some would call it a win-win situation, others would find it exploitative. Whichever one accepts, there is no denying the lure of short term gains is at work to attract youths to election campaigns.
No senior political leader would state on record their party�s not-so-transparent reliance on youths, but off the record, they admit that without the presence of youths, their campaigns would not take off. Unfortunately, many of the young men who would keep the campaign juggernaut rolling are either unemployed or have part-time jobs.
In and around Guwahati, it is primarily such youths who have been recruited to build the campaign booths. A few youths from the locality are given the resources to make the temporary structures, which would be occupied by some party members from the grassroots.
According to party workers, while a few of them might be politically motivated, most are given some cash for their presence and occasional work. The kind of money would differ from place to place.
�A candidate with more money to spend is therefore able to build more booths and bring in more youths who actually need the money,� said a political leader from Guwahati.
There have been allegations that some of the campaign booths have also attracted youths who are not averse to drinking in the premises meant for carrying out campaign activities. This has left local residents fuming, who want such conduct to be curtailed.
Youths in some localities have also been tempted with various inducements by party leaders and candidates, as on earlier occasions. But with the model code of conduct in place, the attempts have been more discreet. In some instances, it has been reported, money has changed hands in places away from the constituencies.