Voting in Delhi has been complete and the fate of the country and the party representatives has been sealed. Among the millions that went out to vote, Nihal Vihar resident Bachan Singh also cast his vote.
At the age of 111, Bachan Singh has become the state’s oldest voter. On Sunday, special arrangements were made by the Election Commission to facilitate the centenarian's visit to the polling station in Sant Garh. While a little less than half the people in the city decided to skip voting.
Who is Bachan Singh?
Bachan was a professional carpenter, had his roots in Pakistan, sided with India during partition and only talks in Punjabi. Bachan identifies himself as a follower of the non-violence movement initiated by Mahatma Gandhi and claims to be a staunch Congress supporter. In allegiance to non-violence, Bachan throughout his life only wore white clothes - kurta-pyjama, with a white turban.
He lives within 100 metres of one of the biggest drains in Nihal Vihar in west Delhi. The road to his house is made of construction debris, and large potholes around the house have turned it into a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Bachan cast his vote in the very first elections that were held in 1951.
Why is he significant?
The voter turnout in Delhi was five percent less than the previous general elections and was recorded at a mere 60%.
In a city where politics is inescapable and which is the melting pot of everything big that ever happens in the country. Yet when it came down to exercising the democratic right and fulfilling the duty to vote, and elect a government whose decisions will make or break the country, people seem to have lost interest.
Bachan who has had a paralysis attack a few years ago was ferried to the polling station in a car and then, a wheelchair was arranged and the officials escorted him to the voting machine inside the booth.
As usual, clad in a white kurta-pyjama with a white turban, he seemed to be unhappy, as he was late for voting, making use of his right and fulfilling his duties.