After missing the recent Lok Sabha poll, team India skipper and Election Commission brand ambassador Mahendra Singh Dhoni may skip voting this election too, as he is scheduled to leave for Australia on a two-month tour late November.
Dhoni's constituency Hatia in Ranchi goes to polls on December 9, the day when a test match is scheduled to be played.
P.K. Jajoria, the chief electoral officer, said, "His presence is immensely needed to increase the voter's turn out percentage as Jharkhand registered a mere 55 per cent and a marginally better 68 per cent turnout in the 2009 Assembly election and the recent LS polls. But since he would be busy with his matches we may miss his services as EC brand ambassador."
"There is no provision for online voting in India. Further, under the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, a week's notice should be given for casting a postal ballot and the stipulation is that voter is in India, not abroad," Jajoria said while explaining skipping of voting by the stars.
The skipper's hometown Ranchi is furious. "If he himself skips voting how would he be able to convince others to vote for which he has been appointed as ECI's Brand ambassador," said Avhishek Kumar, a youth.
Echoing similar views, Amber Sameer, a retired government official, said, "Being an international face, Dhoni must not forget his duty. He must arrange time and go vote."
"He should have voted the last time and he must vote this time as it is fundamental for him," said Sampreet Kaur, a housewife.