Shyam Saran Negi, 105, cast his vote for the 33rd time on Saturday when election officials welcomed India’s first voter to the voting booth in Himachal Pradesh’s Kalpa village, rolling out a red carpet for him during the parliamentary elections. Mandi MPs.
District officials escorted Negi to the voting booth inside an elementary school built in 1890, which can be aptly dubbed as a nursery school of Indian democracy. Negi has never missed his appointment with the vote.
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Popularly known as Masterjee in the village, the wheelchair centennial received a warm welcome with naib tehsildar Hari Ram accompanying him to the polling station, where he was congratulated.
Born on July 1, 1917, according to official records, Negi was the first to vote in India’s inaugural general elections. Although elections were held in February 1952, elections in tribal Kinnaur were held five months in advance in October due to fears of inclement weather, as the valley is covered in snow in winter.
Kalpa was called Chinni at the time. Negi was placed on electoral duty, but cast his vote before moving to the polling station assigned to him. Since then, not a single election has failed to vote.
Kalpa was the seat of the Chini tehsil of the then Mahasu district of Himachal Pradesh. In 1960, the Kinnaur district was carved out of Mahasu and Kalpa became the district headquarters. In 1990, the district headquarters was moved downhill to Reckong Peo for the administrative convenience of the Kinnaur people.
Voter turnout in Kalpa village has increased since Negi was declared India’s first voter. Before the introduction of EVM, the poll percentage was 55% for Lok Sabha and 60-65% for Vidhan Sabha elections. After the introduction of EVM in 2003 and increased awareness due to the initiatives taken by the Election Commission and the district administration, the poll percentage increased to 70% in the parliamentary elections and 76% in the Vidhan Sabha elections.
In 2012, then-Chief Elections Commissioner Naveen Chawla visited Negi’s home in Kinnaur’s Kalpa village to recognize him as India’s first independent voter.
During the 2014 elections, Google made a video with Negi for his vote promise campaign.
"खाना विशेषज्ञ। जोम्बी प्रेमी। अति कफी अधिवक्ता। बियर ट्रेलब्लाजर। अप्रिय यात्रा फ्यान।"