A steady hum of complaints about unemployment, exam paper leaks, and rising education costs. SU students question development in education, and health.
Amid recurring voices of approval for prime minister Narendra Modi and, in turn, the BJP from students of Saurashtra University (SU), there is a less frequent but steady hum of complaints about unemployment, exam papers getting leaked and price rise.
The BJP, many students say, has brought ‘vikas’ by building roads, and improving power and water supply but some of them also question its record on education and health. And it is not the Congress, traditionally the BJP’s main rival, but ‘jhadu’, as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is often referred, which seems to have got the attention of some of these first-time assembly poll voters.
“AAP ka vichar achchha hai education par (AAP’s ideas about education is good),” says Ranva Dalip, who hails from Morbi and is a first-year master’s student. Though he adds quickly that the party will take time coming up in a big way. Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal-led party’s high decibel campaign focussed on the issues of education and health besides corruption has its share of takers on the campus of the region’s main university which draws students from across its various districts. While many poll watchers believe that the Congress remains the closest rival to the BJP in the state, most of these young voters find the party an unattractive choice, providing the AAP a ready space to step in.
MCA student Darshan Jethva, who is from Amreli, says the Congress is a “dying” party whose leaders are heard only during elections. “This time they have not been heard much even during the polls,” he says referring to the party’s rather subdued campaign, as the group of students around him laugh. There is one figure, however, who rises above the mixed emotions any debate on election triggers to command wide support and admiration.