Election SpecialHistoryNews

20 December 1988 : 18-year old gets right to vote

The Parliament gave its approval to the legislation on the 20th of December to reduce the age of voting from 21 to 18 years in 1988 by amendment of the 62nd Constitution Amendment. At that time Rajiv Gandhi was the Prime Minister.

Rajiv Gandhi was made Prime Minister after the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1984. Rajiv Gandhi’s tenure is remembered for many important decisions. One of the most important decisions was that the 18-year-old right to vote for the youth. On December 20, 1988, legislation was passed in parliament to reduce the age of voting from 21 to 18 years.

The 20th day of the last month of the year is therefore considered special for the youth. On 20th December, there have been many such incidents in the country and the world that have been recorded in the pages of history, but for India, this day is very special for the youth. In 1988, Parliament passed the bill on December 20, to reduce the age of voting from 21 to 18 years through the 62nd Constitution Amendment.

The age for the first registration of voters was 21 years. With the Act 21 of 1989, which amended the Representation of the People Act, 1950, the minimum age of registration of the voter was reduced to 18 years by the 61st Amendment Act, 1988 of the Constitution. It has been implemented from March 28, 1989.

Increased participation of youth

Let me tell you that in 1989, Rajiv Gandhi’s decision to reduce the age of voting from 21 to 18 years has increased to 50 million young voters. This decision was also opposed. But Rajiv was sure that youth power was necessary for nation building. However, it does not make any difference to the results of the election. It is said that Rajiv Gandhi had lowered the age of the voter and thought that the voters would give opportunity to the young leader but it did not happen.

Rajiv Gandhi had to be defeated with power. It is not that the young and the elderly vote for different parties. However, some older people prefer more to older parties. But it is true that this increased the interest of youth in parliamentary politics and helped make the country more inclusive.

Young voters will be important in 2019

According to the 2011 census, about 20 million youths are crossing the age of 18 every year. In this case, this young voter is very important for every political party. It is not possible for political parties to ignore these young people. During the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, there will be about 100 million voters who will vote for the first time. The Election Commission figures show that a large number of voters in the age group of 18-20 years have already been registered. This number is approximately 1.38 million till 10 February 2018. In the 2014 general elections, there were 81,40,000 voters.

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