Lucknow, Feb 19: Voting for the third phase of Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh began at 7 am on Sunday. However, for the fifth consecutive time, the most popular voter and former MP of Lucknow, will not be casting his vote in the Assembly elections. The VIP voter is none other than former Prime Minister and Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The former Prime Minister has represented the city five times in Lok Sabha from 1991 to 1999.
The last time when Vajpayee cast his vote was in 2004 during the Lok Sabha elections which also was the last tenure of his political career as a Member of Parliament. Vajpayee’s voter id number is 141 and he has been involved with the city of Nawabs for more than three decades but he is currently suffering from age-related ailments and has not been seen in public for many years.
Shiv Kumar, a close aide of the 92-year former prime minister said that “Atal Bihari Vajpayee would be unable to cast his vote in the ongoing polls” and he further added that “The last time Atal Bihar Vajpayee voted was in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, which was also the last election he ever contested. Thereafter, he could not vote in the assembly elections of 2007, 2012 as well as the Lok Sabha elections of 2009 and 2014.”
Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s polling centre where he is enrolled as a bonafide voter is located in the Lucknow Municipal Corporation with ID number XGF0929877. From 1991 to 2004, he was elected to Lok Sabha from the city of Nawabs for five consecutive times and even after retiring from politics, Vajpayee left his impact on the city and in the 2009 elections and 2014 elections Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Lalji Tandon and Rajnath Singh emerged victorious from the constituency respectively.
Vajpayee is the first non-Congress leader to complete a full five-year term as Prime Minister of India and in the year 2014, he was conferred the Bharat Ratna by President Pranab Mukherjee who broke the protocol to present him the award at his residence in Delhi.
(With inputs from PTI)