Meet Marappa Gounder, a Centenarian Who Voted in All TN Polls
Marappa Gounder was born in 1916 in Karupparayanpalayam, Coimbatore district.
As Tamil Nadu queued up on Tuesday, 6 April, to elect its 16th Legislative Assembly, 105-year-old Marappa Gounder walked his way to his 16th Assembly election. Born in 1916, he has voted in all Assembly elections since the creation of Tamil Nadu as a state.
Marappa Gounder was born in 1916 in Karupparayanpalayam in Coimbatore district. He has been a regular voter since 1952, when Tamil Nadu (as Madras state) elected its first-ever government. Urging citizens to exercise their right to vote, he said that he had voted for those who will do good for the people. Seeing a centenarian turn up at the polling booth to vote, those working in the booth sought his blessings and watched him in awe.
Tamil Nadu elected its first ever government in 1952, when it was known as Madras. The Indian National Congress won the election and C Rajagopalachari (1952-1954) and K Kamaraj (1954-1957) were the Chief Ministers of the state in that term.
Tamil Nadu elections to the 16th Legislative Assembly got underway across the state. Over 6.28 crore voters were expected to exercise their right to elect the chief minister and the next government till the next elections in 2026. The AIADMK allied with BJP, PMK and smaller parties, while the DMK joined hands with Congress, VCK, CPI, CPI(M) and smaller parties. Three more fronts – one led by Makkal Needhi Maiam, one led by Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam and another by Naam Tamilar Katchi – are also in the fray.
Till 5 pm on Tuesday, Tamil Nadu registered 63.6 percent votes. Polling across the state will end by 7 pm. Those with COVID-19 or symptoms of the disease were asked to come out to vote between 6 pm and 7 pm on Tuesday.
(This story was first published in The News Minute and has been republished with permission)
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