At 104, independent India’s first voter Shyam Saran Negi casts his vote in Mandi Lok Sabha bypoll

Pratibha Chauhan

Tribune News Service

Shimla, October 30

Not the one to miss his date with polling, 104-year-old Shyam Saran Negi, Independent India's first voter, was accorded a red carpet as he reached the polling station at Kalpa in the tribal district of Kinnaur to cast his vote for the Mandi Lok Sabha by-election, polling for which is being held on Saturday.

Having turned down the offer to cast his vote from the comfort of his home, considering his age, Negi cast his vote for the Mandi bypoll at Kalpa-05 polling station in Kinnaur.

Frail yet strong in resolve to understand the significance of casting his vote, an alert Negi assisted by his family in a wheel chair reached the polling station to cast his vote. He was honoured with a scarf and flowers as he said he was fortunate never to have missed voting in any election.

Negi has the honour of being the first voter of independent India when he cast his vote for the general election on October 25, 1951. The polling in the snow-bound tribal areas was held five months prior to rest of the country, giving Negi the honour of being Independent India's first voter.

The tribal Assembly constituency of Kinnaur is one of the 17 Assembly segments that constitute the Mandi parliamentary segment, where polling is being held on Saturday.

Negi has always taken pride in exercising his right to franchise, notwithstanding his age and health. Each time he walks to the polling station to cast his vote, he makes it a point to make a special appeal to everyone to understand the value of one's vote.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service

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