New Delhi (India), Apr 18 (ANI): As the second phase of polling commenced on Thursday amid heightened security, political bigwigs came out to cast their votes for constituting the 17th Lok Sabha.
Among those who took to their respective polling booths were former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, actor-turned-politician Rajinikanth, BJP candidate from Bengaluru South Tejasvi Surya, and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, among others.
At Sivaganga, Chidambaram said he has voted for the Secular Democratic Front formed by Congress, DMK and allied parties.
"The Tamil people want a change of government both at the centre and in the state and that is why there is overwhelming support for secular democratic front formed by the DMK, Congress and allied parties," he told reporters here.
"I have voted and appealed people to vote for preserving our independence, sovereignty, democracy, self-respect, fight against superstition and false belief. We have to uphold the pride of Indian people as well as the nationality that are in India and the Tamil nationality," he added.
Chidambaram's wife Nalini Chidambaram, their son Karti and daughter-in-law Srinidi Rangarajan also cast their votes at Karaikudi, Sivaganga.
It may be noted that Karti is contesting from Sivaganga Lok Sabha seat on a Secular Democratic Front ticket.
Meanwhile, Rajinikanth, who cast his vote in Chennai, said, "everybody should vote".
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisamy cast his vote at Salem, while actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan and his daughter Shruti were seen waiting in queue to cast their votes at Alwarpet Corporation School in Chennai.
At Bengaluru, Tejasvi Surya cast his vote at Girinagar polling booth and requested people to exercise their franchise.
"I request to come out in large number and vote to ensure that good government and good men are elected," he said.
On the other hand, Sitharaman cast her vote at a polling booth in Jayanagar area of the city.
Speaking to reporters after casting her vote, Sitharaman urged voters to come out in large numbers and exercise their rights.
Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla also cast her vote at a polling station in Imphal amidst heightened security.
95 parliamentary constituencies spread across 11 states and a Union Territory will go to polls today.
Polling is being held in Lok Sabha constituencies of Assam (5), Bihar (5), Chhattisgarh (3), Jammu and Kashmir (2), Karnataka (14), Maharashtra (10), Manipur (1), Odisha (5), Tamil Nadu (38), Uttar Pradesh (8), West Bengal (3), and a single parliamentary seat of Puducherry. (ANI)