Mumbai, July 2: Shyam Saran Negi, who is believed to be Independent India’s first voter turned 105 on Friday. Negi celebrated his special day by cutting a cake at his residence in Kalpa of the tribal Kinnaur district. He was accompanied by his family members, local villagers, and administrative officials who had gathered to celebrate Negi's birthday.

According to a report in IANS, Negi had also participated in the 1951-52 general elections, the country's first. Abid Hussain Sadiq, Kinnaur deputy commissioner made special arrangements to celebrate Negi’s birthday, reports Hindustan TimesPost Roe Verdict: 10-Year-Old Rape Victim from Ohio Forced to Travel to Indiana for Abortion After Supreme Court's Decision.

Sadiq said that Negi was not only the pride of Kinnaur and Himachal but the entire country. "He is an inspiration to all," Sadiq added. On the other hand, Negi’s son Vinay Negi said, "My father is hale and hearty, but his memory has gone slightly weak. I feel proud that he has earned so much honour in his life."

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Superintendent of Police Ashok Ratna, Kalpa SDM Shashank Gupta, Kalpa Zila Parishad member Sarita, BJP general secretary Yashwant Negi, Kalpa panchayat pradhan Sarita Negi, and naib tehsildar Inder Singh were among those present on the special occasion.

In 1951, Shyam Saran Negi created history by becoming Independent India's first voter after he exercised his franchise in Himachal Pradesh’s Kinnaur district. Born on July 1, 1917, Negi who was working as a school teacher, was on election duty back then.

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Negi, who was assigned poll duty in the first elections, had requested the polling party at his village to allow him to cast his vote first before moving to the polling station for his duty. The concerned officer accepted Negi's request and thus, he became the country’s first voter. He had exercised his vote in the Chini constituency, which was later renamed Kinnaur.

Since then, Negi has never failed to cast his vote, be it panchayat election, Assembly election, or Lok Sabha poll. While casting his vote for the Mandi Parliamentary by-poll in Himachal Pradesh in 2021, Negi said, "In my lifetime 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." Presidential Election 2022: Only Droupadi Murmu, Yashwant Sinha Left in Fray After Last Date of Withdrawal.

In 2012, Negi was recognised as Independent India's first voter. The then chief election commissioner Naveen Chawla had also visited Kalpa to facilitate him.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jul 02, 2022 08:59 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website