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Sunday, Sep 22, 2019

India’s first voter Shyam Saran Negi moves EC against use of his name in BJP campaign

In a social media post, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Pushapraj added ‘Chowkidar’ to Negi’s name seeking votes for Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday.

lok-sabha-elections Updated: Mar 30, 2019 08:53 IST
HT Correspondent 
HT Correspondent 
Hindustan Times, Shimla
India’s first voter,100-year-old Shyam Saran Negi, on his way to cast his vote, at Kalpa, in Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh, India, on  November 9,  2017.
India’s first voter,100-year-old Shyam Saran Negi, on his way to cast his vote, at Kalpa, in Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh, India, on November 9, 2017. (HT File )
         

India’s first voter, Shyam Saran Negi from Kalpa in Kinnaur district, has sought action against a BJP worker for using his name and picture in a social media campaign without his consent.

In a social media post, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Pushapraj added ‘Chowkidar’ to Negi’s name seeking votes for Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday.

Negi, in a written complaint to Kinnaur deputy commissioner Gopal Chand, had objected to the BJP leader’s tweet, saying he had not given permission to anyone to use his name for political campaigns and neither appealed to anyone to vote in favour of a particular political party.

“I don’t use social media and I haven’t allowed anyone to operate any social media account on my behalf. If anyone uses my name of picture for political purposes, action as per law should be taken against them,” he stated.

The 102-year-old Negi further stated that he has only allowed the state authorities to use his photograph for voter’s awareness.

Also Read |  How Election Commission tracked India’s first voter Shyam Saran Negi after 45 years

Kinnaur deputy commissioner Gopal Chand said they had received a letter from Shyam Saran Negi in which he had reiterated his statement for not giving permission to anyone to use his name.

The chief electoral officer Devesh Kumar has asked the Kinnaur DC to ask Negi as to whether he wanted any action as per the prevailing law (IT Act) against the person who used his name.

CEO Devesh Kumar has taken up the issue with the ECI apprising it of the content of the tweet and the complaint, and even screenshots have been mailed to the ECI (Social Media Cell) to take up the matter with Twitter, he added.

Meanwhile, the BJP leader who used Negi’s photo has apologised for using Negi’s photo without consent.

In a written apology submitted to the election department, the BJP leader said he will not repeat such a act in future.

Negi, apart from being Independent India’s first voter, is among the 1,011 voters of Himachal Pradesh who are above the age of 100 years.

Negi, born on 1 January 1917, is a retired teacher and he has voted in all general elections after 1951. He will turn 103 in July this year.

First Published: Mar 30, 2019 08:52 IST