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At 20%, BJP most preferred party among youth, Congress support just 10%, less than regional parties', 13%: Study

BJP most preferred party with 20% support from youth
By Rajiv Shah
Even as a new study has said that close to half (48%) the youths of India do not wish to identify themselves with any political party, what should be an eye-opener for the Congress is, while 20% of the Indian youths are “fond of the BJP”, exactly half, 10%, like the Congress.
Released early this week, the study has been prepared jointly by the Delhi-based Centre for the Study in Developing Societies (CSDS) and the German Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS).
Carried out among 19 states among 6,122 respondents in the age group of 15-34 between April and May, 2016, its survey suggests, with the decline of the Congress, the regional parties, such as AIDMK, DMK, Shiv Sena, Telugu Desam Party, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Shiromini Akali Dal, others appear to have gained, with 13% youths “liking” them.
The survey finds little support among the youths, just about 4%, among the parties identifies as “socialist”: Janata Dal (United), Janata Dal (Secular), Rashtriya Janata Dal, Indian National Lok Dal, Biju Janata Dal, and Socialist Party. The two Left parties (CPM and CPI) are liked by another 2% of the youths.
As for the parties such as the Aam Aadmi Party and the Loksatta, whose founding principle was combat youths, they are liked by 2% of the youths, the study, titled “Attitudes, anxieties and aspirations of India’s youth: changing patterns”, says.
The survey further reveals that the support for the BJP is “highest among north Indian youth where 30% of the respondents said that they were close to the BJP”, adding, “Gap between the BJP and the Congress was least in eastern India where 19 percent of the youth supports the BJP and 11 supports the Congress.”
Pointing out that the youths’ “support for the BJP is coming essentially from the party’s core constituency – upper castes and a section of Hindu OBCs”, the study states, “There is sectional support for the Congress among the youth”, especially “among Adivasis and Muslims”
“Close to a quarter of Muslim respondents (24%) said that they supported the Congress party”, the study says, adding, “These are essentially Muslims residing in states which witness a direct competition between the Congress and the BJP”.
The study, interestingly, finds a huge variation on the tangled issue of beef eating in India among youths supporting different political parties. Thus, it says, “Quite interestingly, supporters of Left parties were highly liberal with respect to this matter. Ninety percent of them have no problems with beef consumption.”
It adds, “Supporters of regional parties and the Congress party were relatively less liberal (50% and 40%, respectively) on this matter. AAP and BJP supporting youth were least liberal (35% and 23%, respectively).”
Regretting that just 46% of youths have “no interest at all in politics”, the study, however, says, “Interest in politics among the youth has steadily risen. In 1996, 37 percent youth had interest in politics. Especially in the last seven years, there has been a substantial increase.”
Ironically, however, the study finds, there was a deceleration in participation in protests among the youth since 2013. It says, in 2011, only 12% youth said that they had taken part in a protest or demonstration. This increased to 24% in 2013, but went down to 15% in 2016.

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