He has contested every election in Rajasthan since the 1970s and forfeited his deposit every time, yet 78-year-old MGNREGS worker Teetar Singh is anything but despondent as he gets ready to try his luck one more time in the November 25 assembly polls.
“Why should I not fight,” the Independent candidate in the fray for Karanpur assembly constituency replied on being asked why he was contesting even after having lost about 20 elections so far.
“The government should give land, facilities… this election is a fight for rights,” the daily wage labourer told PTI over the phone, asserting that he does not contest the polls for popularity or records.
It is a weapon to achieve his rights, the edges of which have not dulled with age, Mr Singh claimed.
The septuagenarian said he has contested every election from panchayat to Lok Sabha polls but faced defeat every single time.
He added that he is getting ready once again with the same passion and enthusiasm, and has filed his nomination papers for the assembly election later this month.
A resident of ’25 F’ village, Mr Singh, who is a member of the Dalit community, said he decided to contest elections for the first time in the 1970s when he felt people like him were deprived of land allotment in the canal command area.
His demand was for the government to allot land to the landless and poor labourers, and with this, he started entering the poll fray every time an opportunity came about.
Mr Singh said he contested elections one after the other but his demand for allotment of land has still not been fulfilled and his sons also work as daily wage labourers.
He told PTI that he has three daughters and two sons and that even his grandchildren have got married. Mr Singh added that he has Rs 2,500 cash as deposit capital but no land, property or vehicles.
Mr Singh said on usual days, he works as a daily wage labourer under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) but as soon as elections come, he shifts focus to campaigning for himself.
But the results have never been in his favour and he has lost deposits every single time. Mr Singh polled 938 votes in the 2008 Rajasthan assembly elections, 427 in the 2013 assembly elections and 653 votes in the 2018 assembly polls.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Newsbust India staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)