A well-rounded education and the promise of jobs are the top priorities for the younger voters.

Ventakesh, a 25-year-old student at Sri Chaitanya Degree College, Bachupally, Telangana, wants to see a level playing field across all strata of society. He would like to see employment for all educational backgrounds.

“I don’t see development for all sectors of the society. One leg moves ahead, and the other is rotting behind. I don’t understand how this is fair. Why is development only for the privileged?” Venkatesh asks, adding that “I am putting so much effort into my education to get a good job. When I see how the market is, I am heartbroken. How will I live my life like this?”

Secularism is a virtue another set of young voters wish to see in the upcoming term. “I wish to see peace and harmony in our society. I want secularism. All religions are equal. I want all religions and faiths to co-exist with an understanding,” says Sumaiyya Begum, a 21-year-old student from Shadan Women’s College of Engineering and Technology, Khairatabad, Telangana.

“Every day I go to college, with a fear that someone will tear off my Hijab and ask me not to wear it in public. Our college is being pressured to ban Hijabs as it is “unnecessary” to wear an extra garment. I want some security to wear my Hijab and obtain an education. It is possible to be educated and practice your faith at the same time,” she said.

Bahadur Singh, 28, a garage owner at Lakdi-ka-Pul, Hyderabad, said, “Anything more than two is not good for you. That is how it should be with power. No chair should be occupied more than two times. When you come to power for the third time, it is not democracy, it is colonisation. Development stops. Power is intoxicating. It blinds you, It makes you feel invincible.”

“I am not rich enough to afford a gas cylinder at a full price. I have seven people in my house and I have to pay Rs 1,000 to get a gas cylinder. The government is not doing anything to give us gas at a reduced price,“ says Fakkruddin, 33, a doorman at a residence in Begumpet here. “This job is not fulfilling. I want a better job. They need to get off their feet and do something,”he said.

Tirupati, a 25-year-old student at SVIT College, Secunderabad, is not satisfied with the quality of healthcare being provided at hospitals and said “A healthy life is a must. There is a lack of providing decent healthcare facilities. No one is saying that they are getting treated to the best capacity. All doctors want to charge high for their basic job.”

(The writer is an intern with businessline in Hyderabad)