Over 900 artistes including Vivek Oberoi, who portrays Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his biopic, have appealed to the people to vote without pressure and prejudice, and elect a "mazboot" not a "majboor" government in the wake of challenges like terrorism. The group, which came out openly in support of the ruling BJP, has also said that they need the present government to continue.
The long list also includes classical vocalist Pandit Jasraj, music composer Shankar Mahadevan, Kuchipudi dancing duo Raja-Radha Reddy, theatre artiste Waman Kendre, Dhrupad vocalist Ustad Wasifuddin Dagar and Statue of Unity sculptor Ram Sutar.
News agency IANS quoted the artistes as saying,"We believe that during the last five years, there has be good governance and development-oriented administration. During this period, India acquired respect globally.It is our firm conviction that the continuance of government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the need of the hour."
Anil Sutar, sculptor Ram Sutar's son said that the artistes were asked about their opinion on the government at a meeting organized by BJP lawmaker and Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) president Vinay Sahastrabuddhe.
Film actor Deepak Karanjikar, one of the signatories, told news agency IANS that the ruling government has made some "fundamental changes". He cited a "cultural mapping project of all Indian artists" which was approved a year ago and is still in the pipeline.
Citing similar reasons, vocalist Wasifuddin Dagar said that "what good has been started must continue".
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