By Himanshu Upadhyay
Ahmedabad, March 28, 2019: With age their bodies have become fragile but their mind and spirit are still as strong as ‘Vajra’ to urge them to participate in the greatest festival of democracy called ‘Election’ as over 700 centenarian voters from Ahmedabad city and district are eager to cast their votes in the forthcoming general election to be held for the 17 th Lok Sabha.
‘We must cast our vote…come what may’ says Mrs. Leelaben Patel, a 101-year- old lady, residing in posh Maninagar area of the city. Mrs. Patel, a mother five children, four sons and a daughter, with firm and confident voice claimed that in her over 100 years long life she has always cast her votes and strongly believe that every responsible citizen must cast his/her votes to upheld the spirit of democracy.
The elections will be held in Gujarat in May, 2019. With a view to have maximum percentage of voting in the election, Dr. Vikrant Pandey, Chief Election Officer of Gujarat and District Collector of Ahmedabad, and his teams are putting all-out efforts, with main target of first-time voters, to secure maximum voting.
These centenarian voters are definitely giving much needed inspiration to me and my teams, Dr. Pandey said. The Ahmedabad city and District is spread over 21 state assembly constituencies, which is also housing over 719 voters who have crossed the age of 100-years. Among them, 35 centenarians are from Ghatlodiya area of Ahmedabad. One of them, Umiyaben opined that the casting of vote is very necessary. Umiyaben, a mother of seven sons and one daughter, originally hails from Detroj town of Ahmedabad district.
With emotionally choked voice Umiyaben recalled that her husband had died in year-1977 but very next day she had exercised her franchise. “Our vote to the right candidate, give us a better representative,” she claimed.
Another centenarian and resident of Ishanpur area of the city, Mrs. Sitaben Thakor with glittering eyes said that “I have exercised my franchise in every election. I don’t under why people avoid or not exercise their right to vote.”
With similar spirit and enthusiasms 108-year-old Mrs. Manguben Prahladbhai Patel from Bavla town near Ahmedabad categorically stated that she had exercised her franchise in every election. Sanand Assembly Constituency has 22 centenarian votes.
In Ahmedabad district, centenarian voters as per the assembly constituencies are – Viramgam 43, Sanand 22, Ghatlodiya 35, Vejalpur 41, Vatva 22, Ellis Bridge 82, Naranpura 55, Nikol 20, Naroda 29, Thakkarbapanagar 08, Bapunagar 44, Amraiwadi 07, Dariapur 29, Khadia-Jamalpur 28, Maninagar 24, Danilimbda 15, Sabarmati 37, Asarwa 21, Daskroi 27, Dholka 42, Dhandhuka 88.