SHIMLA: Shyam Saran Negi, a 102-year-old voter who also participated in the 1951-52 general elections which were the country's first, cast his ballot on Sunday at a picturesque hamlet in Kinnaur district as elections were held to elect four members of Parliament from Himachal.
"I have never missed an opportunity to vote," Negi told reporters in Kalpa, some 275 km from the state capital.
A staunch believer in democracy, the 102-year-old never fails to cast his vote in any of the elections, be it Lok Sabha, Assembly or the panchayat.
In 1951, Negi, a retired schoolteacher, was on an election duty and exercised his franchise in Chini constituency - later renamed Kinnaur.
At that time, balloting in the snow-bound areas of the hill state was held ahead of other places in the country.
This time he cast his 31st vote. He has voted in 17 parliamentary and 14 Assembly polls.
"In the 2007 Assembly polls, an election official got in touch with him for the first time and since then he is in limelight in every election," a state election official told IANS.