Soha to take cue from own film, lead march for votes

In true filmi style, Bollywood beauty Soha Ali Khan may soon lead a candlelight march on Rajpath in the India Gate area, as she did in 2006 movie ‘Rang De Basanti’, to motivate Delhiites to vote in hordes in the December 4 elections, official sources said.

The 35-year-old actress, a youth icon and an ambassador for Delhi elections, will march with volunteers and youths in the coming days to encourage them to exercise their franchise as part of ‘Dil Mein hai Dilli - Vote Karenge’ campaign launched on Thursday, said sources. 

“The actress will also distribute special stickers with the ‘Dil Mein...’ slogan that people could stick on their dresses and flaunt their love for the city and get encouraged to vote,” said an officer.

While the Delhi election office is still finalising the list of events that Soha will be involved to increase the voter turnout, Chief Electoral Officer Vijay Dev said her posters will be put up across the city with slogans motivating people to cast their ballot.

Messages recorded in her voice will be aired on radio and TV spots will also be telecast.
Actress Sharmila Tagore’s daughter, Soha is no stranger to Delhi as she has worked with the Ford Foundation in Delhi for two years. 

“I have always wanted to something for the nation and cinema is a medium that has given me an opportunity to achieve the target,” said Soha, whose candlelight march in “Rang De...” became the inspiration for youth protests in the Capital after the December 16 gang rape.

Reaching out

Soha, who has studied at the London School of Economics, will also help the Delhi election office to reach out to women to come out of their homes and vote.

She joins cricketer Virat Kohli and teleserial Balika Vadhu’s lead actress Toral Rasputra, who essays the role of Anandi, as election ambassadors for raising voting percentage.   
Traditionally, Delhi has seen a voter turnout of 50-55 per cent.

The Election Commission is putting in extra effort to target youth and women voters in the upcoming elections.

According to figures of the last four Assembly elections in Delhi, 58.27 per cent women voters exercised their rights in 1993, 41.41 per cent in 1998, 51.53 per cent in 2003 and 56.62 per cent in 2008.

“Our voter election card coverage is 100 per cent in the city and 1.16 crore voters are eligible to  exercise the franchise,” said CEO Dev.

“We are hoping for a higher turnout as compared to earlier Assembly elections,” he said.

Polling day is no holiday, says actress

Actress Soha Ali Khan on Thursday slammed those who do not vote, reports DHNS from New Delhi.

“For some of my friends, voting day is a holiday — which it is not, as you are required to be at a polling booth on that day.” she said.

She said with the option of None of the Above (NOTA) button in the electronic voting machines there is no excuse for people to stay away from polling booths.

“Now, the rules allow complete secrecy to people who wish to use the NOTA button and I am sure this will make a difference in voting percentage,” the actress said.

The launch of the Delhi electoral office’s campaign saw the release of the Dil Mein Hai Dilli logo and a promotional jingle which will be aired in the coming days on radio. A recorded message from cricketer Virat Kohli was also played, along with a video clip of teleserial actress Toral Rasputa of Balika Vadhu fame.

Chief Electoral Officer Vijay Dev said the commission was focusing on spreading awareness among the voters of Delhi on NOTA, ensuring that no inducements are used by candidates and the voters make informed voting choice on December 4.

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