Nov 05, 2022: Days after casting his final ballot in the state’s 14th Assembly elections, the 106-year-old Shyam Saran Negi, who served as independent India’s first voter, passed away today in his hometown of Kalpa, Himachal Pradesh.
Mr. Negi was the first voter in the independent nation when he cast his ballot on October 23, 1951, at the Kalpa polling place. On November 2, this year, he cast his 34th and final ballot, an accomplishment that Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised.
According to PM Modi’s tweet, “This is commendable and should serve as an inspiration for the younger voters to take part in the elections and strengthen our democracy.”
Prominently known as Master Shyam, born in July 1917 in the ancestral region of Kinnaur in Himachal Pradesh, he became the leading voter in India’s majority rule system when the nation’s polls were conducted in January and February 1952. He has been a state symbol since 2014. Considering the weather and snow conditions, the studies were conducted that Negi, a teacher by profession, has voted on every policy decision since 1951 and has competed in every race in Lok Sabha, Vidhan Sabha and all nearby bodies since 1951.
On the day the 106-year-old cast his last vote, he called on the people of the country to exercise their right of settlement in order to enforce the established majority rule.
Chief Minister Jairam Thakur consoled Negi’s death, saying that the memory of the country’s first voter casting his final vote “will always be emotional.”
“Saddened to hear the news of the demise of Shyam Saran Negi ji, the first voter of independent India and who belonged to Kinnaur. While performing his duty, he cast his postal vote for the assembly elections for the 34th time on November 2, this memory will always be emotional,” Thakur tweeted.
“May God bless his virtuous soul at his feet and give strength to the bereaved family members,” he added.
Maneesh Garg, Chief Electoral Officer, expressed his condolences on Negi’s death and stated that he “motivated generations of voters for exercising their right to franchise for strengthening the democratic set up.”
In a statement, Garg said, “Such was his commitment that he voted till the last breath of his life as he had cast his vote through postal ballot on 2nd November, at his home in Kalpa.”
“Negi was a noble human being and I pray to the almighty to give peace to the departed soul and strength to the family members to bear the irreparable loss. He will be cremated with full state honours today,” the statement said.
District Election Officer cum Deputy Commissioner, Abid Hussain Sadiq, according to an official statement, said a red carpet was laid to bring him to the postal booth set up at his residence.
According to Kinnaur Deputy Commissioner Amandeep Garg.Mr Negi will be cremated with full State Honours.
Several BJP and Congress leaders have expressed their condolences to the Negi family. “The BJP expresses its deep sadness and condolences at the death of Independent India’s First Voter, Shyam Saran Negi Ji, First Voter of Independent India. May God bless the pious soul who passed away and grant him peace and salvation,” tweeted the BJP’s Himachal unit.