Like in previous parliamentary elections, 110-year-old Sarwan Singh is determined to cast his vote on April 30, come what may. A resident of Bassian Bet village in Dakha constituency and arguably Ludhiana district’s oldest voter, he has appealed to residents not to be swayed by intimidation when exercising their franchise.
During the systematic voters’ education and electoral participation (SVEEP) campaign, Charanjit Singh Kainth, its nodal officer, and KS Mahi, assistant returning officer for Dakha constituency, found Sarwan Singh to be the oldest voter in Ludhiana district.
Talking to the Hindustan Times, Singh said, “I’m very excited about again visiting a polling booth and this’ll be the 12th time that I’ll be voting in the general elections.”
When asked which candidate he had settled on this time around, he politely replied he would not like to share that decision.
Further, when Singh was asked whether candidates in the fray ever kept their promises made before the polls, he responded, “Less than half do but most of those elected tend to vanish from scene soon after the polls”.
What did he think about the younger candidates? “We must give them a fighting chance. Youngsters are the country’s future and, as such, younger candidates may be a better fit in a predominantly youthful society to take on development and welfare issues that have largely been neglected by the older crop of politicians.”
“We must inspire others not to do a disservice to Indian democracy by refraining from voting,” he said, adding, “I’d also like to share the secret of living past 100. I haven’t touched alcohol or drugs and have always made it a point to lead a simple life.
I believe you’re never too old to work and have continued tilling my fields, even managing to buy two acres of farmland through sheer hard work. I want to leave a message for all youngsters - stay off alcohol and drugs and stick to honest, hard work.”