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Prime minister skips vote in Assam

April 11, 2011 16:07 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday gave a miss to his right to vote in the Assam assembly election.

Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur are registered voters in Assam's Dispur assembly constituency where the polling took place on Monday.

The prime minister is a Rajya Sabha member from Assam for the last two decades and a voter of the state since then.

Returning Officer of the constituency J Balaji said the prime minister did not exercise his right to cast his vote.

His name was in serial number 721 of the voters' list at polling station number 175 at Dispur government higher secondary school.

Singh is officially a tenant of former Assam minister Hemoprava Saikia, widow of former Assam Chief Minister Hiteswar Saikia, though he has never stayed at the Saikia family's Sarumataria house, near the state secretariat complex.

The prime minister exercised his franchise at the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, but did give a miss in the 2006 Assam assembly elections too.

In 2006, Singh and his wife had left Assam just a day before the assembly polls. As per election rules, the prime minister is not eligible for postal ballot, since the facility is only for officials on poll duty and men from the services.

The prime minister, who embarks on a five-day visit to China and Kazakhstan on Tuesday, had a tight schedule in New Delhi on Monday.

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