Ninety two-year-old Dahiben Rana, who used to run a tea stall, has won the Ankleshwar Nagarpalika election from Ward No. 6 for the 10th consecutive term — four times from BJP and the remaining six as an Independent.
“Voters and people of Ankleshwar are like my children… They come to me even with their family problems and I guide them. I don’t like the ideology of Congress as a result of which I am with BJP. Earlier, I was with Janata Party (in early 1970s)… I was once chairperson of the Nagarpalika and also vice-president of BJP in Ankleshwar taluka,” Dahiben told The Indian Express over phone. In the results declared Wednesday, she defeated the Congress candidate by 2,882 votes.
“I met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and welcomed him during his visit to Ankleshwar in the last Assembly elections. I met Chief Minister Anandiben Patel in Gandhinagar during my visit,” she added.
Dahiben, who has no child, joined politics after her husband died 45 years ago, and successfully fought first election in 1978. Her husband used to run a tea stall in Chauta Bazaar area of Ankleshwar, and after his death, Dahiben took over the business. She joined BJP in early 1990s.
“She had joined politics over 40 years ago… For the last last four terms, she contested on a BJP ticket from Ward No. 6 (Katlifalia, Panchvati bazaar and Golwad),” said Dahiben’s nephew Mukesh Rana, who now runs the tea stall.
Ankleshwar town BJP president Kalpesh Telwala said, “We have great respect for Dahiben… She is enthusiastic and sometimes we also feel encouraged seeing her enthusiasm.”