•Veteran Indian contestant Vrajlal Valodara
A 75 year-old Indian may be holding the world record for contesting and losing the highest number of elections in a lifetime.
Vrajlal Valodara had stood for election 36 times and lost all. But he is unrelenting as he is standing for another again.
According to the Times of India, Valodara campaigns on the roads of Savarkundla town of Amreli district, making a fervent appeal for vote from a loudspeaker. He does not belong to any of India’s major parties.
The frail 75-year-old man campaigns on a bicycle and covers six to eight kilometres daily in the town.
In the last 50 years, Valodara had contested 36 elections, be it the municipality, Lok Sabha or assembly polls, but has always been drubbed. However, the defeats have been anything but a dampener for his spirit.
This time, too, he is contesting as an independent from Savarkundla constituency.
The lone campaigner, whose family is busy with their routine chores, says both the main political parties have only “looted the country.” This complaint is written on the hoardings that he carries.
“I am not concerned with victory or defeat, but my only intention is to divide the votes of BJP and Congress. Politicians have only minted money by remaining in power and looted the country,” he said.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Valodara polled in nearly 8,000 votes. “I work for people. I go to the offices of mamlatdar and municipality to get people’s work done. It is because of his selfless service that people vote for me,” he said.
Valodara’s neighbour Ketan Pandya said, “In his young age Valodara used to campaign in every small village. But now he chooses few pockets due to age.”
Valodara lives separate from his family of three sons, who work with banks and LIC, and a daughter.
“My family never interferes in my work. They don’t campaign for me, but are very supportive of my cause,” he said.
His grandson Abhishekh (20) does accompany him sometimes, wrote the Times of India. (NAN)