Fresh faces among ticket-seekers say people ask them how they will be able to tackle their problems without political experience

Pepole say that the youth should come forward to join politics for the betterment of the country, but the fact of the matter is that voters often hesitate to accept young people as their representatives when they get an opportunity to fight elections. 

Bless me with your votes: Aspiring BJP candidate Nilesh Vairat interacts 
with voters in his panel. Pic/Krunal Gosavi 

Young people campaigning in their respective panels say they are welcomed by voters with a puzzled look that seems to ask them: "Will you be able to solve our problem?" A 24-year-old, Ganesh Bhokare, who is an aspiring MNS candidate from Panel Number 37 (Shaniwarwada-Appa Balwant Chowk), said his ability to perform was doubted by not only voters but also competitors from other parties.

He said voters were not taking his words and promises seriously. "Whenever I approach them, they ask me my experience and work in the political field. Not only this, my competitors from other political parties who are older also point out my age and advise me that I should try for electoral politics after some years," said Bhokare.

For 31-year-old aspiring BJP candidate Nilesh Vairat, the campaigning in his panel turned into a test of his general knowledge. "My panel is reserved for Scheduled Caste and whenever I go to the voters they test my knowledge about the Scheduled Caste community. Some of them even ask me about my parent's profession, assuming I am freshly graduated from college," said Vairat.

He added that he had to convince voters that he was sure to get the BJP ticket and that he had the ability to represent them. Vairat is an aspiring candidate from Panel Number 51, which includes the Lokmanya Nagar-SP College area.

Sunmeet Singh Chowdhary, a 28-year-old aspiring Congress candidate from Panel Number 62 (NIBM Road-Kondhawa) has just started campaigning in his panel. When he meets voters, they ask him how many years he has worked in the panel.

"I remember when a group of voters asked me whether I was sure I was going to fight the election," said Chowdhary. He asked how was he supposed to gain experience if voters did not give him a chance to enter politics and raise their questions in the corporation.