By casting your ballot, you make yourselves heard and get the powers be to take note - well this is what the several centenarian voters in the state, who are eagerly awaiting the chance to exercise their franchise in the coming Lok Sabha polls, will vouch for.
The Chief Electoral Officer will publish the final list of voters aged 100 or above on Thursday when the final tallying will get over. There are 554 male and 1,004 female voters in the state at present, according to the preliminary estimates.
Among these, 110-year-old Govinda Pillai ‘Aelimadathil’, Moonnattumukhom, Kuttanad, is one of the senior most voters in the entire country. Though he could not cast his vote in the 2014 LS polls, he plans to make it to the polling booth this time around health permits, said his son Purushothaman. A widower, Pillai is a farmer. His wife Thankamma died 19 years ago.
Devaki, ‘Kanjirathumvila’, Chathannoor, who celebrated her 108th birthday last week, is the oldest voter in Kollam. She has never failed to cast her ballot in the Lok Sabha, Assembly and local bodies. “Devaki does not have any political affiliation and she welcomes all partymen to with a smile,” said Nimmy K, a ward member of Kalluvettankuzhi.
Janardhanan, 104, hailing from Kulathoor in Thiruvananthapuram has voted in all the Lok Sabha polls conducted till date. “I will vote this time also. My vote is for Communists,” he told Express, raising a clenched fist. Janardhanan needs help to walk since he suffers from vision and hearing impairment.
At 101, KN Shambhat is a celebrity voter in Kasargod LS seat. Last month, the District Collector tapped him to flag off the ‘Election Publicity Vehicle’ which goes around creating awareness about the EVM and newly-introduced voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) or verifiable paper record of votes.
A native of Narayanamangalam near Shantipalam in Kumbla grama panchayat, Shambhat was a temple priest in Palakkad in his younger days.
Come April 23, he will be in the queue at AUP School, Narayanamangalam, to cast his vote. “Oh yes. You can find me there. I may have to press the button hard,” Shambhat quipped.
Gopalankutty Menon, 102, a freedom fighter from Kozhikode, has voted in all the elections.
“I have cast my vote in all the polls and will be voting in the coming Lok Sabha elections too. I wish the new government will put an end to corruption, support the poor and ensure their freedom,” Menon said.
Will cast ballot if health permits: Mar Chrysostum
Pathanamthitta: Philipose Mar Chrysostum Mar Thoma Valiya Metropolitan, who will turn 101 years on April 27, will vote in the coming Lok Sabha election if his health permits. Mar Chrysostum, who was conferred with the Padma Bhushan last year, is taking rest at Fellowship Mission Hospital at Kumbanad near Tiruvalla. He was positive when asked whether he would cast vote in the coming polls.