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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

the first voter of India votes again at 97 for the 17th time !!

In the 9th Lok Sabha elections in 1989 at Guntur, in Andhra, the candidate was 89 years old and he won too.  The people, Kinners are believed to be the descendants of the Pandavas ….. they live in Kinnaur, which is one of twelve administrative districts in Himachal Pradesh. The district is divided into three administrative areas – Pooh, Kalpa, and Nichar. It is the second least populous district of Himachal Pradesh (out of 12), but there are nine vital languages are spoken in the district. It is  surrounded by Tibet to the east, and has three high mountains ranges, namely, Zanskar, Himalayas and Dhauldhar that enclose valleys of Sutlej, Spiti, Baspa and their tributaries.

Indian General Elections are on … in the biggest democracy of the World ..  …… any person who is a citizen of India and above 18 years of age is eligible to enroll as a voter in the electoral rolls. Voting will take place in all 543 parliamentary constituencies  and results will be declared on 16 May. Voting is not a right, it is a duty.

A general election in nine phases, from 7 April to 12 May 2014 is touted to be longest of them all.  It is not so. The first General elections were held between 25 October 1951 and 21 February 1952.  The first time Independent India voted for the First Lok Sabha in 1952 was in Oct 1951 ….. nothing incorrect here. In the 1st Lok Sabha elections,  voters in the state of Himachal Pradesh were given the chance to vote in October 1951 because the heavy snowfall, primitive roads, and mountainous terrain of that state made it likely that polling stations would be largely unreachable during a February election.

Now read this report from The Hindu of date….. India’s first voter, Shyam Saran Negi, cast his vote at a polling booth in his native place Kalpa. The 97-year-old Negi reached the polling booth at 6.55 a.m. accompanied by his wife Hira Mani (92). Shyam Saran Negi became the first voter of the country when elections were held for the first time on October 25, 1951 in Kinnaur. The State Election Commission had recently appointed him as its brand ambassador for the poll campaign in the tribal region.

Negi’s name was registered at serial no 123 in polling booth no 50 on Wednesday. Incidentally, the booth was set up in the school from where he had retired after serving for 23 years. He was the first person to caste his vote there, followed by his wife. Kinnaur Deputy Commissioner DD Sharma welcomed Negi at the polling station and honoured him by presenting a cap and scarf when he came out of the polling booth. Kinnaur assembly segment falls in Mandi Lok Sabha constituency and Negi cast his vote for the 17th  time in the Lok Sabha elections, including the Mandi Lok Sabha by—election held in June 2013. Thanking the government for recognising him as the first voter, Negi appealed to the people to come out and exercis their franchise.
file photo of CEC  Navin Chawla with Mr Negi
In the 12th Lok Sabha – the oldest male member was Shri Ishwarbhai Koodabhai Chavda who was born in Aug 1913 and the oldest female member was Smt. Vijaya Raje Scindia, born in Nov. 1919. 

Read about NG Ranga (Gogineni Ranga nayukulu) (1900-1995),  freedom fighter, parliamentarian, and kisan (farmer) leader; exponent of the peasant philosophy.  In the 9th Lok Sabha in 1989, he contested from Guntur at the ripe age of 89 and duly won too…. and served as member till 1991 ~ which he had done for six decades from 1930.  He passed away in 1995………..

My personal  belief that persons beyond a particular age – should not be allowed to contest at all…. There should be a retirement age for politicians too….

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Photo credit and news on Negi voting – courtesy : the Hindu

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