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Lyricist Gulzar's name missing from electoral rolls!

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 voting list.

"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 said.

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.

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