The 59 Lok Sabha constituencies across 9 states went to polls in the 7th and the final phase of the 2019 general elections. People from the respective states came to cast their vote and one of the early voters who hogged the limelight at the polling booth in Kalpa village, Himachal Pradesh, was Shyam Saran Negi.
The 102-year-old who voted for the 31st time on Sunday expressed that he had never missed a chance to vote.
Interestingly, this is his 17th vote in a parliamentary election, starting from the first General Election in the year 1951.
Negi who is a retired school teacher also holds one more unique record to his name. He can proudly say to others that he was the first ever voter in the history of independent India.
While the remaining part of India voted in February 1952, the polls were carried out in remote areas of Himachal in October 1951 owing to fears of chillness weather during winters.
Thus Negi, who was on election duty became the first voter in the country. Since then he got his finger inked in 17 general elections and 14 Assembly Elections and never missed it.
Negi who was not known by many for decades was stumbled upon by chance by an election official in the year 2007. Since then, Negi was honoured by the Election Commission and even made the brand ambassador of Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) campaign by the EC.