Friday, December 1, 2023

Election Commission of India yet to respond to pleas to defer vote counting date in Mizoram

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The Election Commission of India (ECI) is yet to respond to pleas made by political parties, churches, civil society organisations and student bodies of Mizoram to reschedule the date for counting of votes in the state, a senior official of the election department said on Sunday.

Mizoram chief electoral officer (CEO) Madhup Vyas told PTI that his office was yet to receive any response from the central poll panel regarding the request till now.

Additional CEO H Lianzela also said the election commission, which is likely to seek a comment from the state election department on the issue of change in counting date, is yet to respond.

He said some organisations and political parties have sent letters directly to the ECI, while others have put forward their request through the CEO.

“We will forward the requests of those organisations to the election commission this week,” he said.He said preparations for the upcoming assembly polls are going on in full swing.

On October 9, the ECI had announced the schedule for assembly elections in five states, including Mizoram. Polling for the 40-member Mizoram assembly will be held on November 7 and counting of votes for all the five states will take place on December 3, which is Sunday.

Seven political parties, including ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) and BJP and civil society organisations and student bodies, including Central Young Mizo Association (CYMA), had jointly written to the ECI on October 12 urging the central poll panel to reschedule the counting date. The letter said almost 90 per cent of the state’s population is Christian and Sunday is a sacred day for the people.

“We the Mizos devoted solely to the worship of God on Sunday. No official programme or business is held on Sunday in Mizoram,” the letter signed by presidents of all political parties and NGOs had said.

Earlier, the MNF and the BJP and Mizoram Kohhran Hruaitute Committee (MKHC), a conglomerate of major churches in the state, had appealed to the ECI to change the counting date.Christians account for around 87 per cent of the population of Mizoram according to the 2011 census.

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