Rajinder Nagar bypoll: Senior citizens say age shouldn"t be used as excuse to not vote

  • | Thursday | 23rd June, 2022

New Delhi, Jun 23 (PTI) Defying health issues of old age, senior citizens queued up outside polling booths in Delhi"s Rajinder Nagar assembly constituency on Thursday, determined to exercise their franchise as "age should not be an excuse".Voting for the bypoll to the Rajinder Nagar assembly seat began on Thursday morning. The seat fell vacant after AAP leader Raghav Chadha was elected to Rajya Sabha recently."We must exercise our franchise. Age should not be an excuse," said 82-year-old Ramkali, who came to cast her vote at a polling booth in Naraina.She claimed that she voted in every election ever since she became eligible. Ramkali said she came to the booth alone on Thursday as her family members cast their votes in the morning.She reached the polling booth using the free pick-up and drop facilities provided by the Election Commission. Once she arrived at the booth, a volunteer assisted her and took her inside on a wheelchair.  "It feels great every time I cast my vote," Ramkali said after exiting the booth."I don"t want to miss any election. It is our right, and I want everyone to exercise it," she said, adding, "If I can come at this age, youngsters can also come and perform their duties as responsible citizens." Praveen Jain (80) said he came to vote to inspire the younger generations to celebrate the festival of democracy."These days, young people do not come out to vote and that is not right. We should all play our parts by casting our votes. I have never missed an opportunity to vote and so, I came to motivate the younger generation," he said.At a polling booth in Inderpuri, many senior citizens were seen waiting patiently for their turn. Many were on wheelchairs, while others were seen sitting on the curb of the road.Most of them said choosing the right candidate would help in improving the condition of the area."We are so old but we all have hope that the situation might change. We have faith that if we choose the right candidate, he/she might bring change in the area," said Mohan Kapoor (72).Meanwhile, Vimla Brar (75) said age should not be an excuse to run from one"s responsibility."It is for our betterment only. It is our duty," Brar said. The Rajinder Nagar is largely being seen as a battle between a confident Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and a spirited Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).AAP"s Durgesh Pathak is likely to have a close contest with BJP"s Rajesh Bhatia, who had also been a councillor from the area. The Congress has fielded former councillor, Prem Lata.A total of 1,64,698 voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in the bye-election, in which 14 candidates are in the fray. PTI VA/AKM IJT

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