Driven by sense of duty, elderly brave scorcher to vote

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New Delhi, April 23 (IANS) Braving scorching heat and disregarding failing health, senior citizens on Sunday turned out in large numbers for the Delhi civic polls, though most admitted that they do not have much expectations from candidates they voted for.

Having seen politicians over the years making tall pre-poll promises, only to turn their back on the public after victory, the senior voters said they were resigned to their fate but even that could not keep them away from exercising their franchise.

Septuagenarian Tarsem Singh of Gautam Nagar in south Delhi said: “Till now, no councillor has done anything. There are a lot of civic issues that need attention, but there is no proper planning on resolving the issues.”

Pointing to potholed roads and choked drains, he said: “I know the conditions will remain the same; I don’t have any expectations from them. But then, it is my duty to vote and I have done that.”

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Notwithstanding his frail health, 91-year-old O.P. Suri stood in a queue to vote.

“I have voted in almost all elections since Independence. I have seen things undergo drastic change. But some things have remained the same. The masses still have to struggle for their basic needs. Elections come and go but our condition remains unchanged,” Suri lamented.

Retired government servant Bhola Nath, 76, complained that he has not seen any government that is concerned about the welfare of the masses.

“Everyone makes promises but no one delivers,” the Lajpat Nagar resident said.

Nath said Delhi’s municipal bodies had failed to maintain cleanliness in the national capital.

Shankar Lal, 83, echoed the view. “All are busy in making money and they forget the public after elections. The civic body must do something to check dust pollution but they do nothing. We face breathing problems due to pollution.”

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Sushila Sharma, 63, of Sadiq Nagar, said leaders from various political parties promise everything to woo voters before elections but can’t be traced once they win.

“There are serious issues of proper water supply, road repair and sewerage, which are not new,” Sharma said.

“I don’t think there’s going to be any major improvement. But it is my duty to vote and so I have done.”

Rajinder Kumar, 69, of Maharani Bagh said: “Health facilities in MCD clinics ought to be improved; public parks should be kept clean; roads need repairs; steps to clean the environment and reduce pollution have to be taken; the MCDs need to focus on small issues on which they have failed miserably. Voting is important — so I came for it.”

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A total of 2,537 candidates contested Sunday’s polls for the North Delhi Municipal Corporation and South Delhi Municipal Corporation (104 seats each) and East Delhi Municipal Corporation (64 seats).

The counting for all 272 seats in the three civic bodies will take place on April 26.

(Amiya Kumar Kushwaha can be contacted at [email protected] and Somrita Ghosh can be contacted at [email protected])



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