The Times Of India
Alkesh Sharma

A surprise call from Bollywood's "clean" actor Aamir Khan is now urging residents of Punjab to exercise their right to vote and choose the most honest candidate. The call comes from an unknown landline number and the voice on the other side says, "Main Aamir Khan baat kar raha hoon... aap sab vote kijiye aur soch samajh kar sabse imandaar aur saaf record vale candidate ko hi vote deejiye (This is Aamir Khan calling... all of you must think and vote to pick a candidate who is most honest and has a clean record)."

First-time voter Sunny Shergill, 23, was taken aback by the call but said it served the purpose of encouraging him to vote sensibly. "Though it was both shocking and surprising, it was a wake-up-call for me. Initially, I thought somebody was playing a prank but after listening carefully I realized that it was actually Aamir Khan's voice," said Sunny, who is a resident of Zirakpur in Punjab.

Kritika Sehgal, 22, an engineering student and another first-time voter, said she thought Aamir was actually talking to her. "I was at home when I got the call and yelled out to my family members that Aamir was on the line. But then I realized that it was only a recorded message. Anyways, the message from my favourite star has motivated me to vote otherwise I had decided to boycott the polls."

Khan's one-minute recorded message is being played randomly on selected numbers by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), an NGO. "Aamir Khan is known for his clean, non-aligned image and has emerged as a role model for many youths. One of my colleagues happened to meet him while he was shooting for 'Three Idiots' at IIM-Bangalore. He had expressed his desire to volunteer, without charging any money, so we roped him in," said professor Jagdeep Chhokar, founder member of ADR. Chhokar added that the messages are being flashed in all states going to polls. "Three short films of Aamir have also been uploaded on our website to inspire people for clean voting," he said.

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