Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) [India], November 12 (ANI): Amid the heat and dust of campaigning for the Himachal Assembly election, on Saturday, with the parties in the fray putting their heavyweights in the forefront in a bid to attract voters, certain developments around the polls have not slipped under the radar.
From the death of the country’s oldest voter to how polling personnel and equipment are mobilised uphill, braving rough terrain and, often, unforgiving weather, here’s a look at stories from the poll-bound state that courted headlines ahead of the polling for 68 Assembly constituencies on Saturday.
The country’s oldest voter from Himachal dies
Shyam Sharan Negi, who was a sprightly youth of 31 when the country woke up to “life and freedom”, to quote independent India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, died after casting his ballot for the 34th time, earlier this month.
Just three days after casting his vote for the Assembly polls through postal ballot, Negi passed away in peace at his home in Kalpa, Himachal Pradesh. A brand ambassador for the Election Commission of India (EC) and an inspiration for his countrymen to exercise their democratic right, Negi died at the ripe old age of 106.
Tweeting on his demise, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said even in death, he would inspire the country’s future generations to get their fingers inked. “This is commendable and should serve as an inspiration for the younger voters to take part in the elections and strengthen our democracy,” the PM tweeted.
The highest polling booth
Blessed with unparalleled scenic beauty, Himachal Pradesh, ‘Devi Bhoomi’ as it is popularly known, is also home to the world’s highest polling station. The Tashigang polling booth is located at a height of 15,256 feet above sea-level, making it the world’s highest.
However, despite the treacherous terrain, the Tashigang polling booth had logged 100 per cent polling in the last Lok Sabha elections. 47 registered voters, including 29 men and 18 women, turned up for the Lok Sabha bypoll.
How EVMs are taken uphill?
Taking poll paraphernalia several thousand feet above sea level is a task fraught with danger. But true to the proud traditions of our electoral democracy, electronic voting machines and all other poll equipment are airlifted to some of the highest polling stations in the country and the world every time an election comes around.
For Tuesday’s assembly elections, it took days to airlift EVMs, two security personnel, and two members of the election staff to Bara Bhangal, which is the remotest village in Himachal Pradesh.
The Kangra district administration has set up a polling station where 65 registered voters will exercise their franchise on Saturday.
Rallies and canvassing
From Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh of the BJP to Congress heavyweights Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Chhattishgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, the top guns were all out to campaign for their respective party candidates ahead of the polling for 68 Assembly constituencies on Saturday.
Taking out colourful roadshows, the leaders crisscrossed the key constituencies of the state amid the showering of petals and lusty waving from locals, making the strongest pitch that they could for their respective party candidates. (ANI)
This report is filed by ANI news service. TheNewsMill holds no responsibility for this content.