New Delhi: 104-year-old Kalitara Mandal wants to cast her ballot one last time, as she says she might not live to see the next general election.
Born during the British rule, Mandal has seen the country unshackling the chains of slavery and becoming independent, and being torn into two with the birth of Pakistan. “I want to vote this time again. This might be my last election. So much has changed in these years,” Mandal said.
Mandal, who migrated from erstwhile East Pakistan to India during the 1971 Bangladesh war, lives in Chittaranjan Park in the New Delhi parliamentary constituency. Asked whom she would vote for, Mandal, attired in a white Bengali cotton saree, simply answered: “Whoever my son asks me to.”
Though she has crossed a century, Mandal can still sit straight and talk without rambling. She spoke in Bengali, which was translated into Hindi by her grandchildren.
Asked if she knows about BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi or the Congress’ Rahul Gandhi, she said with a smile, “No!”
“For us voting meant Indira Gandhi,” she added.
Of Delhi’s 12 million voters, Mandal is one among 324 voters aged above 100 years. And, believe it or not, there are 12 who are just one year short of making it to their 125th birthday.