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Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections 2017: He Voted in 1st Polls of Independent India, to Get Inked Again Today

Negi is hundred and one years old and was 35 when the independent India went to polls for the first time. His wrinkled forehead and hollow cheeks may show signs of aging, but his enthusiasm to participate in yet another democratic exercise in his home state remains unsullied.

News18

Updated:November 13, 2017, 12:05 PM IST
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Kinnaur (Himachal Pradesh): It is early morning in Himachal Pradesh's tranquil Kinnaur district. Shyam Saran Negi, a former school teacher, is sitting in front of an old and highly uneven-looking brick wall. The wall, in a way, serves a testament to his age.

Negi is hundred-and-one-years old and was 35 when the independent India went to polls for the first time. His wrinkled forehead and hollow cheeks may show signs of aging, but his enthusiasm to participate in yet another democratic exercise in his home state remains unsullied.

In the last eleven times, since its founding, if there has been one thing constant in the hilly state is a voter, Negi, who has gone to the nearest booth to cast his vote every time Himachal elected its government.

In a brown woolen bandhgala, donning a traditional Himachali skull cap and a pair of dark-shade sunglasses, Negi expresses concern over his health right from the word go. "My time is coming to an end," he starts, but adds, "if I stay healthy, I will definitely go out and vote".

I desire to vote once again in the forthcoming elections, he says, predicating the possibility once again on his health. Negi says that he speaks on the basis of his health at this very moment. "You never know what might happen tomorrow," he says, adding, "sometimes even I don't know if I will see another day."

Negi appeals to everyone, especially the youth, to come out and vote in large numbers.

Himachal Pradesh, where the Virbhadra Singh-led Congress government is facing a stiff competition from the BJP, will go to polls on November 9.

Corruption charges have jolted the 83-year-old leader's rule in a state that has continuously oscillated between the Congress and the BJP.

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