Answer & Explanation
A) Induce high voltage
When the switch is ON, in a tube light choke is nothing but the coil/ballast ( inductor) which is used to induce the high voltage across it. as we know that inductor has property to induce high voltage for the brief period of time, this high voltage is required to ionize the gases in the starter.
Then gas inside the starter gets ionized due to this full voltage and heats the bimetallic strip that is caused to be bent to connect to the fixed contact. Current starts flowing through the starter. Although the ionization potential of the neon is the little bit more than that of the argon but still due to small electrode gap high voltage gradient is appeared in the neon bulb and hence glow discharge is started first in a starter.
As voltage gets reduced due to the current causes a voltage drop across the inductor, the strip cools and breaks away from the fixed contact. At that moment a large L di/dt voltage surge comes across the inductor at the time of breaking.
This high valued surge comes across the tube light electrodes and strikes penning mixture (mixture argon gas and mercury vapor).
Gas discharge process continues and current gets the path to flow through the tube light gas only due to low resistance as compared to the resistance of starter.