Elections: Himachal’s oldest voter, wife cast vote

negiHimachal Pradesh’s oldest voter, Shyam Saran Negi, 97, and his wife Wednesday cast their vote in a picturesque hamlet in Kinnaur district.

“This time again I have not missed an opportunity to cast my valuable vote,” Negi told reporters in Kalpa, some 275 km from the state capital.

Kinnaur is part of the Mandi Lok Sabha constituency, one of the biggest in the country.

The nonagenarian appealed to the voters that they should exercise their franchise and hand over the reins of the government to an honest leader who could end corruption and check price rise.

His wife Hira Mani, 10 years younger to him, accompanied him to the polling booth, almost a kilometer away from his house.

The couple was among the first to vote, said an election official.

Retired as a teacher from a government school in 1975, Negi was among the first to vote in independent India’s first Lok Sabha battle in October 1951 in Chini constituency – later renamed Kinnaur.

At that time, balloting in the snow-bound area was held ahead of other places in the state and the country.(ians)

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