Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar on Saturday visited the Himachal residence of India’s first voter Shyam Saran Negi, who died at the age of 106, and paid rich tributes to him.

“The real tribute to Shyam Saran Negi would be for all citizens to take part in voting and strengthen democracy in the country,” said Kumar, who flew in from Delhi and reached the residence of the EC’s brand ambassador in Kalpa in Kinnaur district, over 200 km from here.

The CEC said Negi continued to vote since 1951 and had cast his ballot on November 2 also, fulfilling his duty by taking the facility of voting from home.

This devotion to duty should be an example for the young voters, he said and urged all eligible people in Himachal Pradesh to vote in the November 12 assembly election.

“The youth should also come forward and whenever the next election in their area comes …This is what would be a true and true sharandhali to honourable Shyam Saran ji,” Kumar said after paying floral tributes.

“From Kalpa, Kinnaur, ECI salutes the 1.8cr 80 voters and over 2.5 lakh 100 voters of India for continued and active participation in strengthening democracy,” Rajiv Kumar said on his Twitter handle.

“Their continued support and inspiration make us realise our responsibility for conducting free, fair and transparent elections,” he said.

Three days after casting his vote for the 34th time, Negi died on Saturday at his home in Kalpa.

Negi’s last vote was on November 2 for the Himachal Pradesh assembly polls through postal ballot. He was 31 when India gained its Independence.

By Shadab

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