Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo had said action would be taken against polling officers for letting actors Sivakarthikeyan and Srikanth vote, despite their names not being on the voters’ list. Further, it was said Srikanth hadn’t cast his vote, but only inked his finger.
Clarifying his stance, Srikanth tells indianexpress.com, “I didn’t vote on someone else’s behalf for people to question me. In fact, I did the right thing—exercise my franchise, without giving up. I have been casting my vote at Cauvery School, Saligramam since 2006, but only this time, my name was missing. One of the polling officers told I was eligible to vote if I had my voter ID or Aadhaar Card. Also, he added my name would have been misplaced in other booths within the same school.”
Srikanth says even before going to the booth, he checked the Voter Helpline App to see if his name was on the electoral rolls. “Actually, it showed up,” he adds.
Srikanth elaborates he had shifted his residence to Lake Area in Nungambakkam, but the voter ID, apparently, had the previous address. “Despite linking my phone number and everything to Aadhaar, I wasn’t informed that my booth had changed. Till this date, I don’t know who is responsible for this chaos. Whoever tells I haven’t cast my vote can verify my thumbprint in the Government ledger. Ideally, before the elections, we should have been informed about the booth and related queries, which wasn’t the case. This Government sends bulk SMS-es to everyone for a lot of things. From now on, I appeal to them that we are kept in the loop about our polling centres.”
On a lighter note, Srikanth adds he was surrounded by photojournalists and wonders why nobody stopped him then. “Actors are soft targets and whatever we do becomes news. I am a citizen first; then an actor. I stood in the queue, postponing my shooting commitments. I don’t understand why they say I was allowed to vote just because I am an actor. I can’t buy it. I did everything as per the advice of electoral officers, and didn’t violate any rule, per se,” he signs off.
Two other popular actors Ramesh Kanna and Robo Shankar also couldn’t vote since their names were missing.
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