ECI to give surprise red carpet welcome to first voter of Independent India


By : Mohan Verma

Election Commission of India has decided to give surprise welcome to the first life voter of Independent India Shyam Saran Negi (98) after receiving him on the red carpet on specially designed nodal polling center at Kalpa in Kinnaur district, 217 km from the capital town.

Mr. Negi is made ambassador by ECI to campaign for heavy turn out are among few who witnessed dawn of Indian democracy after participating in first Lok Sabha general elections on October 25, 1952.

District Electoral Officer and Deputy Commissioner of Kinnaur Mr. D.D. Sharma would himself welcome Mr. Negi on May 7, while polling for Lok Sabha for the 8th election day at Kapla along with other officers, media told that though Mr. Negi lead a secluded life in the remote Kalpa village is to be given red carpet surprise welcome as he would turn up for casting his vote for 16th Lok Sabha elections.

The nonagenarian voter would be given welcome at specially design Nodal polling centre at Kalpa as it would be decorated. Mr. Negi would not only be source of inspiration for about 81 billion voters in the country but about 15 percent voters of age group above 60 in Himachal Pradesh who vote for four Parliamentary Constituency. Tribal Kinnaur district falls in Mandi LS segment.

On diamond jubilee celebration of Election Commission of India Mr. Shyam Saran Negi who had been declared oldest voter of this country in 2010 and honored by erstwhile chief election commissioner Navin Chawla.

Mr. Negi, who is retired school teacher completing century of his life soon was now online appealing masses to turn out heavily for LS poll advertising for Google along with Bollywood megastars’ Amitabh Bachchan and Dia Mirza.

He casted his first vote on February 1951 for first LS in Independent India. About 2.35 minutes album showing Mr. Negi to reach a polling station to exercise his franchise. The album was hit as number of viewers were hitting youtube.

The Google video of Mr. Negi on youtube is already viral with 2,706,997 hits, 4509 likes and 1034 comments.

While speaking to media, Mr. Negi said he feels that corruption and price rises are real issues in this election.

He was also aware about NOTA (None of the Above) option introduced by ECI for the first time. He said that in recent years it is common to hear that politicians are corrupt. The parties now hardly approach people with genuine policies. They waste precious time of parliament by creating ruckus rather than taking part in serious discussions on issues of public interest.

Concerned about the deterioration of Indian politics, he was eagerly awaiting to cast Lok Sabha votes to be held on May 7 in this hill state.

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ML Verma is a Senior journalist, with more than a decade of experience of active reporting for electronic media, news agencies and fast paced online media.

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