ruling and other parties are also gripping along. In order to create an edge, parties are realizing the importance of winning the trust of the first time voters, who are nearly about 12 crores. According to the 2011 Census, the number is a staggering 149.36 million. That’s well over 20% of the 725 million voters the Election Commission (EC) reckons will be eligible to vote in 2014. The total number of 149.36 million first-time voters will likely swell by May 2014 to around 160 million (the census was held in 2011). Muslims eligible
to vote in 2014, in contrast, are estimated at around 110 million (of the total 180-million Muslim population). The other large minority among the 725 million-strong electorate in 2014 is of course the urban and semi-urban middle-class voter. This slice adds up to another 150 million eligible voters.
The 2014 election will probably be the first Lok Sabha poll decided not only on caste, religion and region – though those will play an important role – but by a combination of young first-time voters and the urban and semi-urban middle-class. Ultimately, they will be the harbingers of change.
By Sonakshi Jain