Jalandhar-born steers ahead of British royalty in online voting

April 12th, 2008 - 1:28 pm ICT by admin  

By Jaideep Sarin
Jalandhar, April 12 (IANS) Jalandhar-born Harjit Gill, the mayor of Gloucestershire, has raced ahead of the British royalty and Hollywood celebrities in an online voting to select the Top-100 people of the English county. Gill, 54, has emerged at the top, beating the likes of Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, princes William and Harry and Hollywood celebrities like Kate Winslet and Liz Hurley at the end of the first week of voting.

Prince Charles was at second spot. The voting that started April 5 has 200 personalities from the British royalty, showbiz, business, politics, sports and other fields in the list. The voting will be held over four weeks and the results will be out early May.

The online voting for the Top-100 of year 2008 of Gloucestershire county is being done by Weekend magazine, which is owned by popular county publications, The Citizen and Gloucester Echo.

“It feels indeed great to be ranked among all these top personalities and then to emerge on the top. I am keeping my fingers crossed for the next three weeks of voting,” Gill told IANS on phone.

Gill, who was elected Gloucester mayor last year in an all-White dominated county (98 percent of the population in Gloucester is White), started on the list at 67th rank but marched to 15th spot within three days. He emerged at the top at the end of the first week.

Gloucestershire county is home to a host of top British celebrities.

While Prince Charles and his sons William and Harry - ranked 7th and 10th now on the list - have their Highgrove address in this county, “Titanic” actress Kate Winslet and the glamorous Liz Hurley are residents of the upscale Cotswold area. Another royal, Princess Anne is ranked third after Gill and Prince Charles.

The two Hollywood actresses do not figure even in the top 20 list of celebrities in the first week’s voting.

Ex-cricketer Jack Russell is ranked 19th. Other celebrities on the list include Tele-tubbies inventor Ann Wood, world gliding champ Leigh Wells, one of the youngest climbers of Mount Everest Jake Meyer and Cheltenham town mayor John Rawson.

Gill, who has played international hockey with the Rest of India team, had studied for his post-graduation in politics in a Jalandhar college before migrating to Britain in 1978.

He dabbled in politics in Gloucester in mid-1990s and was first elected mayor of Barton area of Gloucester in 1999. He later became the first Asian to be elected sheriff in England and finally the first Asian mayor of Gloucestershire in 2007.

Each online voter has 10 votes per week and the voting process will be on for four weeks.

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