Mumbai: Well known
lyricist and filmmaker Gulzar had to return disappointed from a
Bandra polling booth as his name was missing from the electoral
rolls here Thursday.
A peeved Gulzar waved his official voter-identity card and told
media-persons that his name did not figure in the Bandra area's
"The officials searched for my name but could not locate it in the
list. This is not the first time this has happened to me," Gulzar
In fact, the officials assured him that if they managed to locate
his name in the list, they would call him for voting before the
close of voting hours at 5.30 p.m. Thursday.
"This has become a regular feature for me," Gulzar commented as
something similar had happened to him in a past election too.
Besides Gulzar, the mood of civic elections voting was kept upbeat
by celebrities turning out in large numbers all over Mumbai.
Film personalities like Juhi Chawla, Sonali Bendre, Mahesh
Manjrekar, Mohan Joshi (in Pune), Anupam Kher, Smita Talwalkar,
Ashutosh Gowariker, cricketers Vinod Kambli, Ajit Wadekar, Dilip
Vengsarkar and virtually the entire Marathi film industry turned
out faithfully to exercise their franchise.
"I am voting for the first time in my life. I have realised that
this is my duty and responsibility. If we demand our rights, we
must first vote like responsible citizens," Juhi told mediapersons.
In Nagpur, Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari
travelled on a scooter - trailed by his security detail - to cast
his vote in a nearby polling booth, making heads turn.
In Mumbai, Pune and other places, brisk voting was noticed in the
pre-lunch hours, which then tapered off before again picking up
later in the afternoon.
An estimated average of 40 percent turnout has been recorded all
over the state, till the close of voting hours at 5.30 p.m.,
though the official figures shall be available later tonight.
Meanwhile, barring a few stray incidents, polling went off
peacefully to elect a total of 1,244 municipal councillors and
corporators, including 624 women, in Mumbai, Thane, Ulhasnagar,
Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Solapur, Nashik, Akola, Amravati and
Nagpur municipal corporations.