This Indian state’s oldest voter is 105 years old
Thursday 11/April/2019 13:36 PM
By: Times News Service
Muscat: A 105-year-old woman in the Indian state of Sikkim was among those who cast her vote as the Indian elections began this morning.
Sumitra Rai, of Kamrang South District in Sikkim, went to the polls today, firm in the belief that her vote mattered. Although she faced problems with her mobility, arriving at the polls in a wheelchair, Sumitra made sure she voted for her chosen candidate.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) said there was a “Centenarian citizen at polls! My Vote Matters, so says the oldest voter of Sikkim, Mrs Sumitra Rai (105), Kamrang South District.”
The 2019 Indian general election is set to be executed in seven stages from 11 April to 19 May 2019, with the votes expected to be counted on 23 May, and the results being announced on the same day. Some 900 million people are expected to vote in what is expected to be the largest ever voting exercise in the world.
“Everything can wait today but not your vote,” said the office of the election commission. “I have got inked. Have you? Go vote and make your vote count in strengthening of democracy.”
Although it is only the first day of voting, clashes have already been reported in some areas, and voters have detected faults with the electronic voting machines deployed at some polling stations.
India’s Central Reserve Police Force has also deployed personnel to polling areas to ensure violence stays contained to a minimum, and to help people with disabilities cast their vote.
“CRPF personnel deployed in the first phase of General Parliamentary Elections 2019,” said the organisation.
On 11 April, Phase I of the elections will take place across the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Assam, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and a portion of Jammu & Kashmir, Maharashtra, Bihar and Chhattisgarh. Phase one also includes both the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep Islands.
Eight days later, Phase II of the elections will see people in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry, as well as some portions of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Tripura, West Bengal, Karnataka, Orissa, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Manipur and another section of Jammu and Kashmir.
On 23 April, the third phase of elections will take place across Kerala, Gujarat, Dadra and the rest of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and some sections of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Assam, Jammu & Kashmir and West Bengal.
Six days later, phase four will see people from some areas of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra (and Mumbai), Jharkhand, West Bengal and Orissa will head to the polls, and on 6 May, the rest of Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan and Jharkhand, as well as another portion of West Bengal will cast their votes.
On 12 May begins the sixth phase of voting, where the national capital, New Delhi, as well as the surrounding state of Haryana goes to the polls. Other regions of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and the rest of West Bengal will also cast their votes.
The seventh and final phase of elections will see the last portions of Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal, as well as the states of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh.