Celebs roped in to woo voters

Celebs roped in to woo voters

This time the Election Commission is leaving no stone unturned to increase voter turnout in the upcoming Delhi Assembly elections. The Delhi electoral office has decided to rope in Bollywood actress Soha Ali Khan and popular cricketer Virat Kohli to encourage people, especially women and youth, to come forward and cast their vote this December.

Celebrities who have a ‘Delhi-connection’ are part of this election campaign. Writer Khushwant Singh and beautician Shahnaz Husain have also been approached for
the campaigns for this year’s election.

Posters of Soha Ali Khan will be put across the City to create awareness among people. She will also be heard on radio stations and seen on television channels, urging the youth to come out in strength and vote in the upcoming elections.

But, all said and done, will these celebs actually influence the young voters? Metrolife spoke to a few youngsters on this to know their reactions.

Duhita Jagtiani, a filmmaker by profession, said, “Nowadays the youth has become very finicky about politics and political parties. They know whom to choose and it actually doesn’t make much of a difference to me. This decision might help the panwalas and all but not us. And moreover this time, I am going to go for the ‘None of the above’ button in the elections.”

It is estimated that there are around eight lakh people in the age bracket of 18 to 19 years and people in this age group are mostly reluctant to get their voter identity cards made. The major target group of the campaign is youth as well as women and aims to
encourage youngsters to take part in the electoral process by exercising their ‘Right
to Vote’.

Another youngster Saurav Mallick, a copywriter, said, “Even if Amitabh Bachchan comes and asks me for my vote, I won’t change my mind. These celebs don’t influence me at all and they are only getting paid to endorse the products and in this case, it is the election. Maybe 20-30 per cent people will come in to vote after getting influenced by these ‘stars’ but I am just not affected by this. I will still go and vote for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).”

According to data, the voting turnout in general elections 2009 was 51.85 per cent. Whereas, 57.58 per cent of Delhiites voted in state Assembly elections in 2008. It was reduced to 53 per cent in the latest municipal corporation polls 2012.

If on one hand, people are criticising these ‘popular faces’ in elections, there are also a few who have welcomed this decision. Rahul Verma, a software engineer and an avid cricket lover, said, “It made a huge difference to me when I heard that Virat Kohli has been roped in to help the EC in the campaign. I will definitely go and vote this year, be it any for political party.”

This initiative which has been taken up by various states in the past has yielded encouraging results in terms of enhanced voter registration coupled with significant increase in voter turnout. But, in case of Delhi, things are always uncertain.

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