Some 999 centenarians will cast their votes for Himachal Pradesh’s four parliamentary seats at seven special polling stations on May 19, Chief Electoral Officer Devesh Kumar said on Friday.
Kangra, the state’s largest district, also has the highest number of 293 centenarian voters, followed by 125 in Hamirpur district and 122 in Mandi district. Lahaul-Spiti district has five 100 plus voters, the lowest in the state.
102-year-old Shyam Saran Negi, who has never failed to cast his vote in any election — be it LokSabha or the Assembly or the panchayat — has been appointed the brand ambassador of the state Election Commission’s SVEEP (Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation) campaign.
The centenarian lives with his youngest son ChanderParkash in the picturesque village of Kalpa in Kinnaur district. He told IANS through his son Parkash, “I am appealing to all the voters, especially the younger generation, to spare time and elect an honest man who can take the country to new heights.”
Chief Electoral Officer Kumar told reporters here that the centenarian voters would be welcomed in their respective polling stations.
“We have decided to target 100 per cent polling in the state and efforts have been made to identify the old persons with disabilities,” he said. Of the 7,730 polling booths in the state, seven have been set up especially for senior citizens in Bara Bhangal and Dari in Kangra district and Key in Lahaul-Spiti district. Lahaul-Spiti is one of the most rugged, inhospitable terrains in the state.