Meet Marappa Gounder, a centenarian who has voted in all TN Assembly elections   

Marappa Gounder was born in 1916 in Karupparayanpalayam, Coimbatore district.
105-year-old Marappa Gounder showing his inked finger after voting in Coimbatore
105-year-old Marappa Gounder showing his inked finger after voting in Coimbatore
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As Tamil Nadu queues up to elect its 16th Legislative Assembly, 105-year-old Marappa Gounder walked his way to his 16th Assembly election. Born in 1916, he has voted in all Assembly elections since the creation of Tamil Nadu as a separate state.

Marappa Gounder was born in 1916 in Karupparayanpalayam in Coimbatore district. He has been a regular voter since 1952, when Tamil Nadu (as Madras state) elected its first-ever government. Urging citizens to exercise their right to vote, he said that he has voted for those who will do good for the people. Seeing a centenarian turn up at the polling booth to vote, those working in the booth sought his blessings and watched him in awe.

Tamil Nadu elected its first ever government in 1952, when it was Madras State. The Indian National Congress won the election and C Rajagopalachari (1952-1954) and K Kamaraj (1954-1957) were the Chief Ministers of the state in that term. Like Marappa Gounder, writer R Parthasarathy (who uses the pen name Indira Parthasarathy) also tweeted that he had voted in the 1952 elections and on Tuesday, making him a part of the elite community. 

Tamil Nadu elections to the 16th Legislative Assembly are underway across the state. Over 6.28 crore voters are expected to exercise their right to elect the Chief Minister and the next government that will have the right to govern the state till the next elections in 2026. The AIADMK has allied with the BJP, PMK and other smaller parties, while the DMK has joined hands with Congress, VCK, CPI, CPI(M) and smaller parties. Three more fronts -- one led by Makkal Needhi Maiam, one led by Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam and another front by Naam Tamilar Katchi -- are also in the political fray.

As at 3 pm on April 6, Tamil Nadu has registered 53% of votes. The polling across the state will close by 7 pm and those with COVID-19 or symptoms of the disease have been asked to come out to vote between 6 and 7 pm on Tuesday.

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