The phase 2 of voting for 95 Lok Sabha seats saw a tepid response with 30 % voting across various constituencies in the first half of the day. However the picture was entirely different in the second half after Election Commission released a statement that those who refrain from voting will be forced to watch Kalank.
Sources say that may areas where voter turn out at the end of the day manages to reach 45%, saw around 85% voting till last reports. Voters were seen lined up at polling booths eager to cast their votes and somehow avoid being tortured by 2 and half hours of Kalank.
Ranjit Krishnan, an IT engineer from Bengaluru, who like most voting days decided to skip the exercise citing work pressure was seen eagerly waiting for his turn at the polling booth. A bit reluctant initially he spoke our reporter after much prodding and said, “I am not into politics and usually avoid the trek to the polling booth. But now way am I going to sit in the theatre watching that movie.”
In Bihar too the voter turnout of 18.9% in the first half of the day reversed to 81.9% as voting came to an end. Booth operators said there was an ‘unprecedented rush of voters’. Some even revealed that polling had to be suspended for few hours owing to shortage of ink.
Rajlal Yadav, an engineering student who was relaxing in his room after bunking lectures, got the shock of his life after someone sent him a copy of EC’s statement on Whatspp. “I was watching TikTok videos when I got a message from my friend. The thought of watching Kalank gave me the shivers. I ran to the polling booth like how Imran Tahir runs after taking a wicket. Later realized I wasn’t even wearing my clothes. But that embarrassment is nothing compared to watching the movie,” he said.
Sources say that EC may try such moves in other constituencies also to drive people to the polling booth.
Meanwhile, Karan Johar has refused to say anything beyond congratulating the EC for achieving the voter turnout milestone.