India’s first voter casts vote at 105 in Himachal

Shyam Saran Negi, believed to be India’s first voter at 105 years of age, cast his vote on Wednesday in the Kinnaur assembly constituency in Himachal Pradesh.

As per official record, Negi had also participated in the 1951-52 general elections, the country’s first.

“I have never missed an opportunity to cast my vote since India got its Independence in 1947 and I am happy to vote this time too,” Negi said in Kalpa, some 275 km from the state capital, after exercising his franchise.

Last year also, he cast his vote for the Mandi parliamentary by-poll.

Election officials said on earlier occasions Negi went to the nearest polling station to cast the vote.

“This time, the Election Commission made a special provisions for those above 80 to cast vote on a ballot paper at their place of residence. First, he asked that he will cast the vote on the day of polling (November 12), later he decided to cast vote in his house,” an election official told IANS.

He flashed his inked wrinkled finger after voting.

Like on previous occasions, the centenarian requested the young voters to actively participate in the democratic exercise to get their representatives at the helm.

A staunch believer in democracy, the centenarian never fails to cast his vote in any election, be it Lok Sabha, Assembly or panchayat.

In 1951, Negi, a retired school teacher, was on election duty and had exercised his franchise in Chini constituency, later renamed Kinnaur.

Back then, voting in the snow-bound areas of the mountain state was held ahead of other places in the country.

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