Losing elections for 22 times has done nothing to dampen the spirits of 80-year-old rickshaw puller Jaglal,who is all set to try his luck once again from Fatehpur district of Uttar Pradesh.
“Whether I win or loose,I will definitely contest the Lok Sabha election as an independent candidate,” says Jaglal,who claims to have contested various elections 22 times.
“I contested the election for chairperson of urban local body for five times,assembly elections for eight times and Lok Sabha polls for nine times. This will be my 23rd chance,” he claimed.
Asked what prompted him to take a plunge in electoral politics,he said,”Candidates of various political parties have done nothing for the district. As I was born and have spent all my life in the district,it is my duty to work for the cause of my brethren”.
Aiming to serve his “own people”,Jaglal fought his first election against former Congress MLA Krishna Dutt from Khaga Assembly segment,though he fails to recollect the exact year.
Since then there has been no looking back for Jaglal. “I have contested almost all the assembly and Lok Sabha elections after flexing muscles with Dutt,” he said. Jaglal,who still dreams of entering parliament,also has a unique method of campaigning.
In this era of hi-tech campaigning when candidates find hard to canvass without workers and a cavalcade,Jaglal seek support from people travelling on his rickshaw.
“Sometimes my fellow rickshawpullers take out foot-marches to muster support in my favour,” he added.
Interestingly,Jaglal claims that unlike other candidates,he has never been asked to submit details of his election expenditure.
“In the last general election,the central observer asked me to submit details of election expenditure. I told them that I use one apple in my election campaign every day. I campaign on my own rickshaw and at the end of the day I eat that apple. After that the officials never asked me to submit details,” he claimed.
The octogenarian said that if he wins the election,he will open a school for students who fail in their exams for one reason or the other.
“Students,who fail in exams,do not get admission easily. I plan to open an intermediate college for such students,” he said.
Jaglal’s never say die spirit has earned him a fan following. In the last Lok Sabha elections,Jaglal secured 3949 votes,whereas in the 1999 polls,he got 1019 votes.
Unlike 22 previous occasion,Jaglal is confident of his victory this time. “Electorate has become more aware and they will not fall for the false promises and assurances of the political parties and will vote for me,” he hoped.