For election, stars emerge in daylight

Celebrities who mixed with common folks to vote tell you about their election-day experience

Pranam Devaraj (centre) with family.

Actors were among those who went out enthusiastically to vote. Some put off their shooting and travel plans to be able to exercise their franchise.

Here’s what their voting experience was like

Many skipped voting, went holidaying

Actor Malavika, also a BJP leader, drove out of Bengaluru in the morning to cast her vote in Mysuru. “The turnout is better than during the Assembly elections. I heard some people complaining of names missing. I feel citizens should stop complaining, check in advance and make sure their names are on the list. When voters are irresponsible, there will be somebody taking advantage.” Malavika saw a huge jam on the Bengaluru-Mysuru highway. “I saw a lot of people with luggage travelling out. It was disappointing to see people choosing to go on a holiday instead of exercising their franchise.”

I posed for pics with fans

actor Ravi Shankar put off travelling so he could vote in Bengaluru North. “This is the tenth time I am voting. I believe every citizen is king today. The turnout at my booth was pretty good.” He wasn’t exactly mobbed, but people got him to pose for selfies and photos. “I obliged them all,” he says. Ravi Shankar left his cell phone at home because he read that cell phones weren’t allowed. “I didn’t allow my family to carry phones as well,” he says.

Saw many middle-aged people

cricketer Anil Kumble and wife Chetana voted in Bengaluru South.“We went at 9 am and were happy to see a good crowd, mostly middle-aged. Last elections, I couldn’t vote so this year, I consciously put off my travel plans to be here,” he says.

Awareness campaigns went in vain

Actor Ragini Dwivedi voted in Judicial Layout, Bengaluru North constituency. “Despite all the awareness campaigns, people have not come out to vote in the city. I hope the rest of the state goes out and votes better,” she says.

Was hoping to see a big crowd

Aindrita Ray was disappointed with the turnout. She says, “I went at noon and there were barely any voters. I wish more youngsters had come out to vote.... I went hoping to see a crowded booth.”

Woman came directly from hospital

Actor Pranam Devaraj, who voted in Bengaluru South, found more enthusiasm. “It was satisfying because I saw youngsters and even elderly people, some of whom could barely walk, turn up. I met a woman just discharged from hospital: she had a bandaged hand. She chose to vote and then go home,” he says.

Was happy to await my turn

Actor Avinash found no crowd during the Assembly elections last year.

“I walked straight in and voted. But, this year, for the first time, I stood in a queue. Everybody patiently waited for their turn,” he says. The turnout could have been better, he feels. “Had there been enough awareness, we would have seen more people come out,” he says.

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