At 100, India’s First Voter Says Himachal Polls May Be His Last

For Himachal Pradesh elections on 9 November, the 100-year-old says that he will vote BJP, as he likes Modi. 

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In a small room made of wood in Kalpa, Himachal Pradesh, 100-year-old Shyam Saran Negi’s eyes light up when he speaks to The Quint. He holds the prestigious title of being the first voter of independent India and thereby inaugurating democracy in the country.

With an unbreakable spirit and a laugh as uninhibited as a child’s, he remembers the first time he voted, unaware at that time that he would be bestowed with any title.

"It was October of 1951. I was a teacher and had work. So I woke up and reached the polling booth at 6 am. No one was there and then someone came at 6:30. I cast my vote in the box," he says with pride.

For the Himachal Pradesh elections on 9 November, he knows who he will vote for.

"I like Modi. Whoever stands for BJP from here, I will vote for him," he says.

Video Editor: Mohd Irshad Alam, Purnendu Pritam

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