Dropping temperatures and advancing years failed to dampen the enthusiasm of centenarians as many of them came out to vote in Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh on Saturday, with 105-year-old Naro Devi exercising her franchise in Churah in Chamba and 103-year-old Sardar Pyar Singh in Shimla.
Also read: Himachal Pradesh Assembly Election 2022 Updates | 65.92% turnout till 5 p.m., highest polling of 72.35% recorded in Sirmaur
There are over 1.21 lakh people above 80 years of age in the hill State with as many as 1,136 centenarians. The Election Commission had made special arrangements for the elderly and persons with disabilities at polling stations across the State.
“It was an honour to meet and felicitate Sardar Pyar Singh, 103 years old, on International Day of elderly persons. Here, he is seen casting his vote with his same indomitable spirit and zeal,” said the State’s Chief Electoral officer, Maneesh Garg, while sharing a picture on the EC Twitter handle.
Naro Devi, 105, chose to cast her vote in a polling booth in Churah constituency of Chamba, despite the EC creating special facilities for the elderly to cast their postal ballot. Madari Ram, 98, voted at Vijaypur, Bilaspur.
Himachal was home to 106-year-old Shyam Saran Negi, India’s first voter, who died a few days ago after casting his postal ballot for this election. Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar had visited Negi’s residence in Kalpa in Kinnaur and had said the real tribute to him would be for all citizens to take part in voting and strengthen democracy in the country.
The EC said Chasak Bhatpri, an 83-year-old woman, was among those who cast their vote in the remote Bharmaur constituency in Chamba despite heavy snow.
“Bharmour is the farthest in the State being at a distance of 14 km from the nearest road head. Seeing huge response from the voters despite heavy snow,” the EC said sharing her picture in snow.