'First voter of independent India' dies at 106 in Himachal; condolences pour in
Shyam Saran Negi had cast his final vote through postal ballot for the state's assembly polls, according to the Election Commission.
The first citizen of independent India to ever cast a vote – Shyam Saran Negi – died Saturday morning at the age of 106 at his residence in Himachal Pradesh's Kinnaur. Chief Minister Jairam Thakur took to Twitter to express grief on his death. "Saddened to hear the news of the demise of Shyam Saran Negi Ji, the first voter of independent India and who belonged to Kinnaur," he wrote in Hindi.
“He cast his postal vote for the assembly elections on November 2 for the 34th time, this memory will always be emotional… May God give his virtuous soul a place at his feet and provide support to the bereaved family members. Om shanti,” Thakur added.
Shyam Saran Negi had cast his final vote through postal ballot for the state's assembly polls, according to the Election Commission. He was also felicitated by Kinnaur deputy commissioner at his residence. The EC also mourned Negi's demise and called him a “man with exceptional faith in democracy”.
“ECI mourns the demise of Shri Shyam Saran Negi. We are eternally grateful for his service to the nation,” the poll panel's spokesperson was quoted as saying by news agency PTI. “He inspired millions to vote, even before his demise, he voted for Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections 2022 through postal ballot on November 2, 2022,” the Election Commission further wrote on Twitter.
Several leaders from the BJP and Congress offered condolences to the Negi family. “The BJP expresses deep sorrow and condolences on the demise of independent India's first voter Shyam Saran Negi Ji, the first voter of independent India. May God bless the departed pious soul and give him peace and salvation,” the BJP's Himachal unit tweeted.