Flight from Canada, ferry across river to vote
Jaipur: Around 74 per cent polling was recorded in Rajasthan on Friday. The figures show one out of four registered electors didn’t cast their votes in the electoral exercise that would usher in the next government in state.
While there are those who chose not to queue up or didn’t find time to vote, there were others who make the finest brand ambassadors of the election department, which has been feverishly urging people to come out and vote.
For Gajanand Sharma, who was until recently languishing in Pakistan jail, Friday would remain etched in his mind all his life. It is on this day that he cast his vote almost after 38 years. Sharma had cast his vote for the first time on Friday since 1980. A resident of the Walled City area of Jaipur, he cast his vote in the polling booth at Fatehram Ka Teeba in Nahargarh area.
Sharma was released from Pakistan jail, and arrived in Jaipur after the Pakistan authorities accepted his request for release doggedly pursued by the external affairs ministry. His wife Makhani Devi got his Aaadhar card made and also applied for his Voter ID card, which were duly processed by the election department. Sharma who was accompanied by his son to the polling booth found voting through EVM a novel experience. Talking to reporters he said, “things have changed since I voted in 1980 via ballot paper.”
Like Sharma, Bhagyashree Jain flew down from Canada to cast her vote. She is a registered voter in Bhilwara district and is employed in Canada. She voted in booth number 131 in Vimal Sagar Maharaj School in Bhilwara city. Bhgyashree said she holds a managerial position in a jewellery outlet in Canada. She said she was urged by her father to come and vote. She said she came on her own accord and applied for leave before landing in Bhilwara for casting her vote.
Villagers of Danakhsari Panchayat hired a boat to cross the dam built on Mahi river and cast their votes. Close to 700 voters took the boat across and came back after exercising their franchise on Friday. Bhagyashree Jain, a jewellery manager from Canada, shows her inked finger after casting her vote in Bhilwara