Catch 22: Action Down Under or polling booth?
The Election Commission and the political parties, which are hoping for a higher voters' turnout in the assembly elections, should pray that it rains in Perth on February 8 and in Brisbane on February 19, as crazy cricket fans won't find it easy to skip the on-field live action for voting.lucknow Updated: Jan 15, 2012 12:22 IST
The Election Commission and the political parties, which are hoping for a higher voters' turnout in the assembly elections, should pray that it rains in Perth on February 8 and in Brisbane on February 19, as crazy cricket fans won't find it easy to skip the on-field live action for voting.
The first phase of polling in the seven phase elections is on February 8, the day India meets Sri Lanka in Perth. It would be India's first match in the Commonwealth Bank Series in Australia.
While in the fourth phase on February 19, India meet Australia in Brisbane. On the day, Lucknow too would be voting.
If the rain God doesn't oblige, the other hypothetical situation that could drive people out to vote is the poor form of Sachin Tendulkar.
"Lest, he gets out and India plays hopelessly, we would rather queue up at our respective polling booths," quips a fan.
Though the Election Commission might not agree, the polling percentage in urban areas on two occasions just might get adversely affected due to the exciting cricket matches involving India.
Despite hectic poll campaigning by the political parties and repeated efforts of the Election Commission to inspire voters to cast their votes on poll day, fans and followers of the game would surely prefer to enjoy the match. Before the CB Series, India and Australia would be playing two Twenty20 games, each on February 1 at Sydney Cricket Ground and February 3 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
"Since the matches start at 9 am (Indian time), the playing time and the voting time would almost be the same, and going by the records, voting would have to take a beating," says former Ranji Trophy cricketer Neeru Kapoor.
"I wish to cast my vote, but it will depend on India's performance in the match," he said, adding, "If India bats first, I will try to go for voting only when rivals start batting," said Sanjay Arora, an executive in a multinationals.
Many other fans of the gentlemen's game too echoed similar sentiments but at the same time hoped they would also manage to exercise their voting rights.
Chief election officer (CEO) Umesh Sinha likes to take things in a positive stride; "Look, elections this time is going to be more exciting than cricket. Even a die-hard fan can enjoy the matches and exercise his/her franchise as well. One can see cricketing action and also celebrate the democracy called voting easily."