The Times of India
Himanshi Dhawan
New Delhi

NEW DELHI: Actor Aamir Khan is asking you for a commitment. Khan, who is well-known for his patronage to social causes, is now advocating voting for a "clean'' candidate even as the five states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Manipur and Punjab go to polls in the next two months. 

The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has launched a voter awareness campaign through automated calls with Khan's recorded message and SMS. The group is planning to target 4 lakh people in UP, and one lakh each in Uttarakhand and Punjab. The SMSes will give information on the criminal and financial background of candidates contesting in the upcoming assembly elections in the five states. 

ADR and national Election Watch is a nation-wide campaign of 1,200 NGOs and other citizens groups and is planning to buttress this campaign with meetings in 10 cities across the election states. ADR's Anil Bairwal said, "Political parties keep promising that they will not give tickets to tainted candidates but we want to create awareness so that the voter asks the right question like why the MLA has such poor attendance in the assembly.'' Khan has also recorded video messages for the group that is likely to be aired soon. 

When asked if the group would be looking at associating themselves with the Anna Hazarecampaign, ADR's founder member Prof Trilochan Sastry said, "We are politically neutral and while we respect Anna and his team we don't oppose or support any party." He added that ADR wanted to restrict itself to electoral reforms and improving governance. 

Sastry, however, emphasized that black money during elections had to be curtailed for any reform. "There is half a 2G scam happening every 5 years in this country," he said referring to the black money pumped during election time.

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