IANS / Shimla
Shyam Saran Negi, a 102-year-old voter who participated in India’s first general elections in 1951-52, cast his ballot yesterday at a picturesque hamlet in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh as elections were held to elect four members of parliament from the state.
“I have never missed an opportunity to vote,” Negi told reporters in Kalpa, some 275km from the state capital Shimla.
A staunch believer in democracy, the 102-year-old has never failed to cast his vote in any of the elections, be it Lok Sabha, assembly or the panchayat.
In 1951, Negi, a retired schoolteacher, was on election duty and exercised his franchise in Chini constituency - later renamed Kinnaur.
At that time, balloting in the snow-bound areas of the hill state was held ahead of other places in the country.
This time he cast his 31st vote. He has voted in 17 parliamentary and 14 assembly polls.
“In the 2007 assembly polls, an election official got in touch with him for the first time and since then he is in the limelight in every election,” a state election official told IANS.
l Residents of the Tara Jivanpur village in Chandauli, Uttar Pradesh have alleged that some people forcibly applied ink on their fingers and gave them Rs500 each on Saturday evening. They were told not to go for polling yesterday.
“They were from the BJP and said that they will vote on our behalf,” said one of the villagers.
Members of the SP-BSP alliance staged a sit-in strike at the Ali Nagar police station protesting the incident.
An officer said the suspects had escaped by the time the police reached the village after receiving information. An FIR has been registered against three people, he added.
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