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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

Voting comes first for Bollywood

Team HT Café, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, April 09, 2014
First Published: 10:19 IST(9/4/2014) | Last Updated: 12:06 IST(9/4/2014)
It’s a starry general elections that’s already kicked off in India, what with a host of Bollywood celebrities running as candidates. But the stars, it seems, aren’t just interested in elections when they have political interests, or when their friends and relatives are contesting.

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While a few actors — Aamir Khan, especially, as the brand ambassador of the Election Commission — have been appealing to people to come out and vote, others are now ensuring that they remain in Mumbai on April 24, when the city goes to the polls.

"I’m going to be in Mumbai, and I will cast my vote," says Akshay Kumar, who lives in Juhu, and will vote for the Mumbai North-West constituency. He clarifies, however, that, "I’m not supporting any political party, but I know who I am going to vote for." Director Ayan Mukerji, who lives in Santacruz (West), also says that he is ensuring that he will be in town to vote: "Yes, I’m very much going to exercise my vote in this elections," he says.

A few celebrities, however, will not in be town, due to multiple reasons — outstation shoots, and a particular awards function that’s being held in Florida, USA, from April 23 to 26. However, Arjun Kapoor says he won’t be attending the festival. "I’m going to vote… It’s the responsibility of every Indian citizen, because it will help bring the right people to power. Otherwise, we won’t have the right to complain about things later," he says. Actor Soha Ali Khan also concurs with Arjun, saying, "…partaking in the democratic process is a right and responsibility bestowed on us… We need to engage with our leaders and hold them accountable by making an informed choice on the day."

Actor Richa Chadda says, "I am going to cast my vote. I think I can keep one day free in five years for it." Meanwhile, another Juhu resident, Varun Dhawan, says he will queue up at the polling booth inspite of April 24 being his birthday: "Voting is a responsibility as well as a duty. We, as citizens, must take care of our country. Voting is the first step towards it.”

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