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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, October 25, 2013
It’s ‘Pappu can’t vote’ campaign had managed to hit the right chord with voters during the 2008 Delhi Assembly elections. This time around, the Delhi election office is banking on celebrities to increase the voter turnout. Film actress Soha Ali Khan, cricketer Virat Kohli and television actress Toral Rasputra (Anandi of Balika Vadhu fame) will be brand ambassadors of the election office campaign, ‘Dil mein hai Dilli, vote karenge’. They will urge Delhiites to come out of their homes and vote on December 4, 2013.

The media campaign was unveiled on Thursday by Delhi’s Chief Electoral Officer Vijay Dev in the presence of Khan. He said the three will be part of print and electronic ads as well as will be present in road shows and other programmes to encourage Delhiites, particularly the youth and women, to come out and vote.

According to sources in the election office, Khan may lead a candle light march from India Gate as part of the campaign. “Our objective is 100% voting, which should be ethical and informed,” Vijay Dev said. With the ‘none of the above’ option available now, people will have no excuse to refrain from voting.

“I come from Delhi and did my schooling here. My mother and sister live here and I’m proud to call it my home,” Khan said. She said she would urge voters to come out in great numbers and vote. “If you don’t vote, it means you really don’t have an opinion,” she said.

While Kohli and Rasputra could not attend the function, they sent their recorded messages. “In the cricket ground, my bat speaks and in Delhi, my vote will speak,” Kohli said in his message. Rasputra urged women to come out and cast their votes to voice their opinion.

“I have seen Delhi grow and expand. I appeal to urban youth, with whom I relate to, to use their voting rights for the betterment of their city, of their country,” Khan said.

Vijay Dev said 3.6 lakh new voters had been enrolled for the upcoming assembly elections. “There would be zero tolerance for any violation of the code of conduct and there are standard operating procedures in place to coordinate with other agencies to ensure that,” he said.

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