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India's first voter dies at 106, CEC Rajiv Kumar to attend his funeral

Born on July 1, 1917, Shyam Saran Negi, had cast his vote two days before his death in the Kinnaur assembly constituency in Himachal Pradesh. Read More

Saturday November 5, 2022 8:25 PM, ummid.com with inputs from IANS

Shimla/New Delhi: Shyam Saran Negi, an Indian school teacher in Kalpa, Himachal Pradesh, who cast the first vote in the 1951 General Elections in India, died of natural causes at his residence in Kalpa Saturday morning.

Born on July 1, 1917, Shyam Saran Negi, had cast his vote two days before his death in the Kinnaur assembly constituency in Himachal Pradesh. Last year also, he cast his vote for the Mandi parliamentary by-poll.

"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 had said in Kalpa, some 275 km from the state capital, after exercising his franchise.

Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar mourned the demise of Shyam Saran Negi and left for Himachal Pradesh to attend his funeral.

"Not just first voter of Independent India, but a man with exceptional faith in democracy. ECI mourns the demise of Shri Shyam Saran Negi. We are eternally grateful for his service to the Nation," the Election Commission said.

"He inspired millions to vote, even before his demise, he voted for Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections through postal ballot on November 2, 2022," the EC added.

"We salute him for his contribution to Indian democracy. He will be cremated with state honours today," said Himachal Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Manish Garg.

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.

"Such was his commitment to democratic process that he voted till the last breath of his life on November 02, 2022, at his home in Kalpa", Himachal Pradesh's Chief Electoral Officer said.

"We salute him for his contribution to Indian democracy. He will be cremated with state honours today," he added.

 

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