As polling began today in 10 constituencies in Mumbai and Thane regions in the third and last phase of Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra, several Bollywood stars arrived at polling booths to exercise their franchise.
Actress Vidya Balan, who cast her vote at Subhash Nagar in suburban Chembur, said, "everyone should vote to ensure a government capable of giving us peace and security."
Actress Amrita Rao, who was one of the early voters, said people should remember to vote first and enjoy their holiday later. "Don't vote for candidates with criminal background," she said.
TV show judge and actress Sonali Bendre also voted this morning. Recalling the first time she voted, Bendre said, "at that time, I really felt like an adult" adding "Voting is one thing which keeps our democracy alive."
Actor Paresh Rawal, John Abraham, former cricketer Sandip Patil and classical singer Padmaja Phenani Joglekar also cast their votes. Rahul Bose was an early visitor at a polling booth in Peddar Road area.
Polling is being held in Mumbai South, Mumbai South Central, Mumbai North Central, Mumbai North West, Mumbai North East and Mumbai North. In Thane district, polling is being held in four Lok Sabha seats- Thane, Kalyan, Bhiwandi and Palghar.
AMBANI, MAYA VOTE
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, industrialist Anil Ambani and prominent candidates like Milind Deora, Ram Naik and Akhilesh Das were some of the early voters in the third phase of Lok Sabha elections today.
Mayawati, accompanied by her party candidate Akhilesh Das, cast her vote in Lucknow before setting off to campaign
for BSP in Mathura, Bulandshahr and other consituencies. Asking her party supporters to come out and vote, Mayawati said, "I always appeal to all my supporters to first cast their vote and then start their day's work. I not only
preach what I say but also practise it. So I came to vote even before having tea or breakfast."
Anil Ambani jogged his way to the polling booth in South Mumbai cast his vote in the first hour of polling while actor Sonam Kapoor of Delhi 6, was excited at having voted for the first time.
Milind Deora, the Congress candidate from South Mumbai, appealed to the young voters to cast their vote. His high-profile constituency usually witnesses a low voter turnout.
He said after the Mumbai terror attack -- which took place in Taj and Trident hotels located in his constituency-- security was a big issue.
Ram Naik, the BJP candidate from Mumbai North who was defeated by actor Govinda in 2004, said he was confident of winning the polls this time.