LUCKNOW, Feb 17:
‘Voter number 141’ of Lucknow Central constituency is likely to again give polling a miss.
The voter is none other than 92-year-old former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who represented Lucknow in the Lok Sabha five times in a row and gradually became synonymous with the City of Nawabs.
“The last time Atal Bihari Vajpayee voted was in 2004 Lok Sabha elections, which was also the last election he contested. Thereafter, he could not vote in assembly elections of 2007, 2012 and Lok Sabha elections of 2009 and 2014,” his close aide Shiv Kumar said.
Vajpayee has been indisposed for some years now after suffering age-related problems and has not been seen in public.
This time also he “would not be able to cast his vote in the ongoing assembly polls”, Kumar said.
Polling in Lucknow is scheduled to be held tomorrow.
The polling centre, where the name of the former Prime Minister is enrolled as a bonafide voter, is located in the the office of the Lucknow Municipal Corporation. His voter identity card number is XGF0929877.
Vajpayee was elected to Lok Sabha from Lucknow in 1991, 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2004.
In the following Lok Sabha elections in 2009 and 2014, the BJP maintained its dominance on the seat as Lalji Tandon and Rajnath Singh were elected MPs respectively.
Lamenting that Vajpayee would not be able to cast his vote in this election, BJP state spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi said, “Though Atalji would not be able to cast his vote for the party candidate, yet his blessings are always with us. And with this, we would surge ahead in the electoral battlefield, and conquer Uttar Pradesh.”
Vajpayee is the first and the only non-Congress leader who completed his full term as Prime Minister.
Born in 1924, he had his baptism in politics during the Quit India movement in 1942. He was also the first External Affairs Minister to deliver a speech in the UN Assembly in Hindi. (PTI)