2019 Lok Sabha Elections: Virat Kohli, Manika Batra cast votes, urge everyone to participatehttps://indianexpress.com/article/sports/sport-others/lok-sabha-elections-anil-kumble-rohan-bopanna-vote-5681861/

2019 Lok Sabha Elections: Virat Kohli, Manika Batra cast votes, urge everyone to participate

The 17th Lok Sabha elections began on April 11 and the results will be declared on May 23. Of all seven phases, the first phase of elections covered the maximum number of states — 91 constituencies across 20 states.

Virat Kohli shared a picture on Twitter after voting in the sixth phase of the Lok Sabha elections 2019. (Source: Twitter/imVkohli)

The 17th Lok Sabha elections began on April 11 and the results will be declared on May 23 and have seen many stars from the sports world voting and urging others to vote. While some like Indian cricket great Rahul Dravid has been appointed as election ambassadors, others are doing their bit to push people to cast their votes. Dravid, though, has not been allowed to vote as his name was not present in the voters’ list.

Among those who’ve already voted are shuttler Jwala Gutta; tennis players Rohan Bopanna, Mahesh Bhupathi; cricketers Anil Kumble, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sachin Tendulkar, Jhulan Goswami and hockey player Viren Rasquinha. Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar advised everyone to tread with caution when they go out to vote.

In the fourth phase of polling, Tendulkar cast his vote alongside family members Arjun (son), Sarah (daughter) and Anjali (wife). On the same day of polling in multiple states across the country, Rasquinha and Bhupathi also cast their vote. Manjrekar tweeted advice for fellow voters: “Last thing we want to do today is be influenced by political parties’ propaganda. Let’s keep it simple, If things that matter to you have improved, vote the guy in, if not, vote him out.”

Former India skipper MS Dhoni also exercised his right to vote during the fifth phase of elections and also shared a video on Instagram urging the citizens to fulfill their duty. The sight was similar during the sixth phase of the Lok Sabha elections as several sportspersons visited the polling booth and shared their pictures on social media.

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Manika Batra, who is currently the top-ranked female table tennis player in India, after voting shared a picture on Twitter asking the citizens to participate in the ‘biggest festival of democracy.’ India cricket skipper Virat Kohli also joined the chorus after fulfilling his duty. Tweeting out a picture, the right-handed batsman said, “Voting is your right and responsibility towards nation building. Go vote.”

India wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant also shared a photo after casting his vote. “It’s not just your right, it is also your responsibility and your power,” he wrote on Twitter.

During the third phase of polling, Pujara arrived alongside his father Aravind Pujara & wife Pooja at a polling station in Madhapar in Rajkot. Cheteshwar is also one of the ambassadors of Election Commission.

After expressing his duty to vote, Pujara tweeted, “Casted my vote with my family! I urge you all to be responsible citizens of this democratic country, and cast your vote. The future of this country is on the tip of your fingers!”

Cheteshwar Pujara at a polling booth in Rajkot for 2019 Lok Sabha elections
Cricketer Cheteshwar Pujara and family arrive to vote in Rajkot. (Express photo by Ashwin Sadhu)

Here are the stars from the world of sports who have already cast their votes in the elections:

The Lok Sabha elections will see Prime Minister Narendra Modi attempting to retain power. Congress president Rahul Gandhi will be trying to revive fortunes of his party, Indian National Congress, which was reduced to 44 seats in the 2014 General Elections.