Two parties in Jharkhand want Team India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni to campaign for them ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
Chennai Super Kings batsman MS Dhoni in action during a Group B match of The Champions League T20 against Sydney Sixers at Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. AFP/Alexander Joe
At present, Dhoni is in Bangladesh, leading the country in the T-20 World Cup, which ends on April 6. Ranchi goes to polls on April 17.
Eyeing to cash in on Dhoni’s popularity, the AJSU Party and the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) hope that he would be in the capital for a few days before the commencement of IPL7 on April 16.
Dhoni, who has grown up in Ranchi, shares a cordial relationship with several political leaders, including AJSU Party chief Sudesh Mahato and JVM(P)’s Amitabh Choudhary. Both of them are in the fray for the Ranchi seat.
“Dhoni has been a brand ambassador of the Election Commission and... has motivated the youth to exercise their voting rights,” said Choudhary, also the president of the Jharkhand State Cricket Association.
“Mahi’s appeal would certainly boost the new voters to cast their votes. And if at all he volunteers to support us, it would be icing on the cake for us.”
Choudhary has on more than one occasion claimed that he had spotted Dhoni’s talent and paved the way for his entry into international cricket.
The AJSU Party camp says that besides being a good friend of Mahato, Dhoni has participated in several non-political programmes organised by it.
“We haven’t sent any request to him, but AJSU supporters would definitely want him to be there to support us,” said Mahato.
But he wondered whether the IPL schedule would give him time to come home. “It would be better to keep our fingers crossed.”