EC ambassadors Dhoni, Deepika won't cast vote

EC ambassadors Dhoni, Deepika won't cast vote

EC ambassadors Dhoni, Deepika won't cast vote

For the third phase of elections in Jharkhand on December 9, cricketer M S Dhoni and archer Deepika Kumari, whom the poll panel used in its campaign to encourage voting, will not be able to exercise their franchise because of commitments elsewhere.

The two sportspersons from Ranchi are busy with their own agendas in Australia and Bengaluru respectively. The Election Commission (EC) has launched a massive poster campaign and awareness drives even in remote areas with pictures of the duo, apart from actor Aamir Khan, appealing to voters to exercise their franchise on polling day.

Reacting to the news, state chief electoral officer P K Jajoria said: “We are not concerned with individual cases. All we want is that the electorate comes out in large numbers to vote on Tuesday.”

Ranchi, Hatia and Kanke will be the three important constituencies in and around the Jharkhand capital where voting will take place from 7 am to 5 pm. The rest of the 14 constituencies, which have been declared Maoist-infested, will witness polling from 7 am to 3 pm only.

Altogether, 289 candidates, including 26 women nominees, are in the fray in 17 constituencies going to the polls in the third phase.

This includes former chief minister and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha chief Babulal Marandi and ex-deputy chief minister Sudesh Mahto, who is also the president of All Jharkhand Students Union, a regional outfit and BJP ally.

To ensure peaceful conduct of polling, the EC has deployed 230 companies of central paramilitary forces, including the CRPF, CISF, BSF, Shashatra Suraksha Bal, Indo-Tibet Border Police and State Auxiliary Police.

“Choppers will be used to maintain aerial surveillance,” said Director General of Police Rajiv Kumar.