Days after the Hindi film industry appeared divided over an appeal by some members to vote for a “secular party”, many from the fraternity failed to cast their votes on Thursday (April 24), choosing to attend the ongoing International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) function in Florida, US, instead.
Actor Nandita Das and filmmaker Imtiaz Ali, both signatories of the appeal initiated by screenwriter Anjum Rajabali, were among those who did not vote. While Ali is at IIFA, Das is in Stockholm for another event. “Sadly can’t vote due to prior commitment. Although don’t see contradiction in appealing to others to vote. If I was there, for sure would have voted,” tweeted Das.
Anupam Kher, who was among those who opposed the petition, was also missing. Anupam Kher, whose wife Kirron is contesting as the BJP candidate from Chandigarh, left to participate in an acting workshop in Florida, a part of the IIFA event.
Among the others who favoured IIFA over polling day were Priyanka Chopra, Hrithik Roshan, Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit Nene, Sonakshi Sinha, Shahid Kapoor, Bipasha Basu, Abhay Deol, Govinda, Vir Das, Vivek Oberoi, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Malaika Arora Khan, Rajya Sabha member Javed Akhtar and his wife Shabana Azmi.
Of these, many like Sonakshi Sinha, daughter of BJP candidate Shatrughan Sinha, Abhay Deol and Saif Ali Khan have, in the past, spoken publicly on the importance of voting.
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IIFA director Sabbas Joseph said, “Commitments and announcement of the IIFA dates were made many months before the ballot date for Mumbai residents was announced. Contracts were signed and announcements made… Once the show is advertised, it cannot be cancelled or postponed… (it) would cause unimaginable losses.”
However, there were some from the fraternity, like Vidya Balan, Farhan Akhtar, Prasoon Joshi and Ranveer Singh, who chose to leave for IIFA after casting their votes. Among the others who voted were Aamir Khan, Gulzar, Ranbir Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Shilpa Shetty, John Abraham, Varun Dhawan, Ajay Devgn and the Bachchan family.
Some criticised their colleagues for missing the important day. While Raza Murad called them irresponsible, Soha Ali Khan, whose brother Saif and sister-in-law Kareena didn’t vote, echoed the view. “It’s disappointing that many people from my industry chose to go for IIFA over voting,” tweeted Amrita Puri.