MUMBAI: Bollywood stars did cast their votes on Monday and their action was main attraction of poll related political activities. In March, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged several Bollywood celebrities to raise awareness among voters. He asked them to creatively inspire people to come out and vote during the elections.
Polling in the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha elections is underway in 72 constituencies spread across nine states including five seats in Bihar, one in Jammu and Kashmir, three in Jharkhand, six each in Madhya Pradesh and Odisha, 13 each in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, eight in West Bengal and 17 in Maharashtra.
The seven-phase elections began on April 11. The first phase recorded a 69.45 per cent turnout while the second phase on April 18 logged 69.43 per cent voting. The third phase of the elections held on April 23 witnessed a turnout of 66 per cent. The counting of votes will take place on May 23.
Actors Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Shabana Azmi, Farhan Akhtar, Kangana Ranaut, filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar and several other celebrities on Monday thronged polling stations in Mumbai to exercise their franchise in the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha elections.
Aamir Khan and his wife Kiran Rao cast their vote at St Anne’s High School. Khan urged people to come out in big numbers and vote. “Each day of the voting, in a different part of the country, is the day you are selected for the voting, is an important day. It is very important for each and every Indian to be a part of it. So, cast your vote. Both Kiran and I are here to do that today. We have just done that,” he said while speaking to media here.
Khan also shared a joke while highlighting the importance of voting. He said: “Once American president went for a walk and met a man on the way. They started talking and the man asked what do you do? To which he replied that I am the President. Now the president asked the man what he does. The man replied I choose the president.”
Flashing her ink-stained finger, Kangana Ranaut also urged people to make use of the day and cast their vote. Taking a dig at the Congress party, Ranaut said: “The political leaders used to chill in London and the country used to suffer from an array of issues like poverty, pollution, rapes etc. The situation in our country was worst when Congress was in power. Now that our time has come, we should vote in large number.”
Shabana Azmi and husband Javed Akhtar also exercised their franchise. Azmi said: “I was in Begusarai. From Begusarai I went to Los Angeles. I was in Los Angeles for just 2 hours and now I am here, just to cast my vote because it is necessary. I want to urge people to cast their votes because it is important.”
While encouraging the voters, actor-singer Farhan Akhtar said: “It is a very important day and I just encourage people who are watching me via your TV channels to please go out and vote. This is the day when people get a chance to decide about the kind of government they want.”
Superstar Amitabh Bachchan, several other Bollywood celebrities, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, industrialist Anil Ambani and RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das on Monday thronged polling stations in Mumbai to exercise their franchise in the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha elections. Bachchan, 76, was accompanied by his wife Jaya, son Abhishek and daughter-in-law Aishwarya.
Veteran actor Rekha was among the first at a polling booth in Bandra. Wearing a white salwar-kameez and sporting a black sunglass, she posed before cameras displaying her inked finger.
Actors Priyanka Chopra, Anupam Kher, Tiger Shroff, Ajay Devgn and his wife Kajol and actor-turned-politician Urmila Matondkar were also among the early voters. Matondkar is the Congress candidate from the Mumbai North seat.
Madhuri Dixit also shared a selfie on Instagram after casting her ballot. “Voting is our right, let’s use it wisely! The future of our country is in our hands. Let’s do our duty and Vote For India,” she said in the caption.
Actor-turned-politician Sunny Deol, who was recently inducted into the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and his brother Bobby Deol on Monday cast their votes at a polling booth in Vile Parle here.
Earlier, Sunny filed his nomination papers from Gurdaspur Parliamentary constituency in Punjab. Before filing the nomination, Deol paid a visit to the Golden Temple in Amritsar and offered his prayers.
Sunny then came to Mumbai to cast his vote. He, however, avoided talking to media persons and simply said that he is tired and came all the way from Punjab to vote. When asked how he feels as his brother is contesting for the first time in Lok Sabha elections, Bobby said: “Very proud of my brother.”
Deol was inducted into the BJP on April 23 in New Delhi in the presence of Union Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Piyush Goyal. After joining the party, Deol had said that he was looking forward to working with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “My work will do the talking,” he had asserted.
Gurdaspur parliamentary constituency was earlier represented by actor Vinod Khanna who had won from there four times — 1998, 1999, 2004 and 2014 — on the BJP ticket. (ANI)