Filmstars, celebrities queue up to vote in Mumbai

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Mumbai, April 30 (IANS) Bollywood stars, industrialists and celebrities were the usual draw at several polling stations here as 10 parliamentary constituencies in Mumbai and Thane districts of Maharashtra went to the polls for the final phase of Lok Sabha elections in the state Thursday.

Polling stations opened at 7 a.m. Among the early voters was industrialist Anil Ambani, who cast his vote in a south Mumbai polling centre amidst a battery of media cameras.

In Mumbai North, former union minister Ram Naik also turned up early, smiling and greeting his constituents.

In Bandra, among the noted personalities who came to vote were Sonam Kapoor, Rahul Bose, Sushma Reddy, Amrita Rao, Sonali Bendre, Aamir Khan and several television stars.

South Mumbai Congress candidate Milind Deora, his father and union minister Murli Deora and their family members also cast their votes. Shiv Sena's Mohan Rawle also exercised his franchise early.

In Kalyan seat in Thane district, Nationalist Congress Party's (NCP) candidate Vasant Davkhare voted with his family members.

Mumbai North-Central candidates - Congress' Priya Dutt and her BJP rival and ace criminal lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani - also cast their votes early.

In stark contrast to metropolitan Mumbai's glamour and glitz, barely 100 km north of Mumbai, tribals in Palghar queued up to cast their votes.

Over 22,000 security personnel drawn from both police and paramilitary forces have been deployed to ensure peaceful polling in Mumbai.

Police have detained over 12,000 "anti-social elements" to ward off any trouble in the nation's financial capital, where around 70 polling stations have been identified as "sensitive".

The constituencies going to polls are Mumbai North, Mumbai North-East, Mumbai North-West, Mumbai North-Central, Mumbai South-Central, Mumbai South, Thane, Kalyan, Bhiwandi and Palghar.

Nearly 13.1 million people are eligible to exercise their franchise Thursday.

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