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Untiring ‘Election King’ Padmarajan to take on Modi

K. Padmarajan, who has filed his 159th nomination in Vadodara

K. Padmarajan, who has filed his 159th nomination in Vadodara

“Election King” K. Padmarajan, whose name figures in the Limca Book of Records for being the “most unsuccessful candidate”, is as indefatigable as ever. Jumping into the poll fray once again — for the 159th time — the Tamil Nadu-based tyre seller will take on the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from the Vadodara parliamentary constituency.

“I filed my 159th nomination yesterday [Wednesday] against Mr. Modi,” the 54-year-old Mr. Padmarajan told The Hindu on the phone from Vadodara.

Over the course of 158 election attempts — including for the Assembly, the Lok Sabha and the post of President — Mr. Padmarajan has pledged and lost deposits worth Rs. 12 lakh. For the elections to the 16th Lok Sabha, he has deposited Rs. 25,000 from his own pocket.

“I do not have a political motive in contesting from Vadodara. I am not even expecting any votes. I just want to contest against Mr. Modi and my aim is to find a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. I only take on VIPs as a common man. I will keep fighting elections all my life,” Mr. Padmarajan said through a translator — he can speak neither Gujarati, nor Hindi nor English.

The independent candidate has the symbol of a balloon. “I think life is like a balloon. It drifts coolly.”

Ascribing a larger-than-life context to his failed contests, Mr. Padmarajan considers himself the symbolic common man taking on the high and mighty. He began his electoral journey in 1989 from the Mettur Assembly Constituency against the then Communist Party of India (Marxist) candidate, N. Sreerangan. In 2011, he even polled 6,000 votes from that same constituency.

True to this credo, Mr. Padmarajan has stood only against heavyweights, including M. Karunanidhi, Jayalalithaa, A.K. Anthony, P.V. Narasimha Rao, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, K.R. Narayanan, S.M. Krishna, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (in the Rajya Sabha) and President Pranab Mukherjee in the presidential elections.

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Printable version | May 22, 2022 7:48:06 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/untiring-election-king-padmarajan-to-take-on-modi/article5867478.ece