Many leading faces from Indian cinema flaunted their inked fingers at the Mumbai polls today but celebrities like Priyanka Chopra, Anil Kapoor, Shabana Azmi, Javed Akhtar and Sonakshi Sinha skipped the electoral process to attend IIFA awards in the US.
Actors who apparently left for IIFA without casting their votes also include names like Hrithik Roshan, Deepika Padukone, Madhuri Dixit, Boman Irani, Kareena Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan and Bipasha Basu.
The ones who flaunted or talked about casting their votes were Amitabh Bachchan and family, Shah Rukh Khan, Farhan Akhtar, Aamir Khan, Ajay Devgn, Vidya Balan and Preity Zinta.
Shah Rukh Khan flaunts his inked finger.
Farhan, who is hosting the awards night with Shahid Kapoor on April 26, stayed back to cast his vote before leaving for Tampa Bay, Florida, where the four-day-long award ceremony is taking place.
Zinta also flew down from Abu Dhabi to exercise her voting right. Kangana Ranaut and Subhash Ghai took a break from promoting their films to cast their votes.
Filmmaker Zoya Akhtar after casting her vote. Pic/AFP
But there was a clash of interests as IIFA and Mumbai voting day happened on the same day.
"IIFA bound now... Dunno if I'll make my flight! Manhattan traffic really gives Mumbai competition. Can't wait for sunny Florida. Tampa Bay here I come...," Priyanka tweeted.
Sonakshi Sinha's actor-politician father Shatrughan Sinha may be in the fray this Lok Sabha elections from Patna Sahib but the actress is in IIFA.
"Finally made it to Tampa Bay after a crazy 32 hours!!! Thank you for the love," Sonakshi tweeted yesterday.
Shah Rukh Khan casts his vote at a polling station in Mumbai on Thursday. Pic/AFP
While Kirron Kher, who is fighting on a BJP ticket from Chandigarh, cast her vote with son Sikandar today, her actor-husband Anupam Kher is in the US to attend IIFA. "Reached New York. And now Tampa walo! I am on my way to you. Love you all.:) Landed finally in Tampa," Anupam Kher, tweeted on April 22.
Kher will premiere his short film 'I Went Shopping for Robert De Niro' at IIFA.
Shahid, Saif, Richa Chadda and Aditi Rao Haidari also left early for the US.
Haidari, clearly perturbed by fans' attack on Twitter, tweeted that she was not a voter from Mumbai. "Calm down all you aggressive people... My vote is registered in Delhi and not Mumbai...," she tweeted.
Sonam Kapoor took to Twitter on Thursday to flaunt her inked finger but her actor-father Anil Kapoor is attending IIFA. "The madness in Tampa begins," he tweeted with a photo.
Ranveer Singh flaunts his inked finger for the media. Pic/AFP
Vivek Oberoi, who was campaigning for BJP recently, gave the voting process a miss to attend IIFA. "Madness at IIFA Stomp! Tampa rocks! Incredible energy and so much love... Thank you for all the love! I feel so blessed and you guys totally rock," Vivek posted on Twitter.
Actress Vidya Balan was one of the first Bollywood celebrities to cast her vote. Vidya, who lives in suburban Juhu after her marriage with UTV head Siddharth Roy Kapur, cast her vote at a Chembur booth.
When asked about voting in Chembur, she said laughing, "Why not? This gives me a chance to come to Chembur... I do come often."
"It's my responsibility to vote... To point fingers at others and (if) I face a problem, I need to have this on my finger," she said while displaying her inked finger.
Actor Ranbir Kapoor and his mother Neetu Singh show off their inked fingers after casting their vote at pooling booth in Bandra. Pic/SAYYED SAMEER ABEDI
Actress and Rajya Sabha member (nominated) Rekha came in a track suit to exercise her right to franchise.
Sunny Deol and Sonam Kapoor also cast their votes. Sonam tweeted, "It is good to vote for those who make legitimate promises."
Aamir Khan, who cast his vote in suburban Bandra, said, "Voting is an important process in democracy. It is my duty as an Indian to vote."
Yesteryear star Dharmendra, Bollywood lyricist Prasoon Joshi also cast their vote in the Western suburbs.
Joshi, who is set to fly out of the country for IIFA, said, "Voting is the responsibility not just once in five years but it should be a constant co-creation."
It is said that lyricist and Rajya Sabha MP Javed Akhtar and wife Shabana Azmi (a former RS MP), besides actress Sonakshi Sinha, whose father Shatrughan Sinha is a BJP candidate in Patna Sahib, have given voting a miss to attend IIFA in the US.
When asked about their absence, Joshi said, "It is best that they answer. All names you have mentioned are responsible citizens."
The Bachchan clan, (from left) Jaya Bachchan, Amitabh, Abhishek and Aishwarya after casting their vote. Pic/AFP
Shah Rukh Khan tweeted, "Most times I don't even get to choose the channel I want to watch on TV. Today I have an opportunity to choose my country's future. Awesome!"
Kirron Kher, who is in the election battle as a BJP candidate from Chandigarh, tweeted, "Sikandar and I just voted. Go Mumbai go and vote."
Mega star Amitabh Bachchan, 71, wrote on his blog last night: "Its voting hour tomorrow... the members shall go to vote as shall millions of others, to decide for the future of the nation, the future of the leaders that shall lead us into the next, and the next."
Juhi Chawla, 46, said she voted for the first time. "Cast my vote in a general election for the first time!!! So happy to have done my duty... I voted for change !!! Grr !!," Juhi wrote.
Actress Anushka Sharma said she would not be able to cast her vote due to her shooting schedule but those who are in the city should go. "I urge everyone to cast your vote today. Everyone counts and matters. Take the responsibility towards a better tomorrow. I am shooting in Rajasthan so wouldn't be able to vote. But everyone who can please do."
Amitabh Bachchan posted this selfie on Twitter on Thursday. Pic courtesy his Twitter account
Soha Ali Khan reminded Mumbaikars that they were not very active in last elections. "In the 2009 general election Mumbai had the lowest turnout of 41.4 per cent. Today the big day is here again - it's time to stand up and be counted!," she said.
Her boyfriend Kunal Khemu, however, was surprised to find his name missing from the list. "In Mira Road, the same place that I have been voting from since I was 18 and today my name is not on the list and they tell me I can't vote. Others like me also around. Surprised!! Won't give up though," he tweeted.
"It's time to stop complaining about the system and take action. Boys and girls either Vote now or forever keep Quiet!," Preity Zinta wrote.
Other celebrities who got inked were Shilpa Shetty, Kunal Kapoor, Shreya Ghoshal, Dia Mirza, Farhan Akhtar, John Abraham, Onir and Riteish Deshmukh.
Dia Mirza posted a picture of herself with police officers to remark, "Thank you Khar Police and thank you #EC for making it such a convenient process to vote!."
Dia Mirza posing with cops after casting her vote. Pic courtesy her Twitter account
Shilpa Shetty Kundra posted a picture of herself and tweeted," Every vote counts. Make yours count to be a responsible Indian."
Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar, TV actor Aamir Ali, TV actor-turned politician Kunika Sadanand posted a picture of themselves and their inked fingers.
"I want to make an extremely strong appeal to those who abstained. #Vote. It takes five minutes and then it stays for five years," Madhur tweeted.