Imphal: Heeding the request of political parties and various communities of the state, the Election Commission on Thursday rescheduled the polling dates of Manipur Assembly elections, due on February 27 and March 3, to February 28 and March 5.
Counting will be held on March 10, along with four other states.
The All Manipur Christian Organisation (AMCO) had urged the poll panel to reschedule the first phase of Assembly polls on February 27 as it falls on a Sunday, the prayer day of the community.
All parties, including the ruling BJP, the main opposition Congress and the National People’s Party (NPP) also supported the AMCO demand.
EC Secretary Sanjeev Kumar Prasad, in a statement, said: “The Commission, having considered inputs, representations, past precedent, logistics, ground situations and all facts and circumstances in the matter, has decided under Section 153 of Representation of the People Act, 1951 to revise the dates of poll of General Election to Legislative Assembly of Manipur.”
The AMCO earlier in a representation to the EC said that Sunday is a sacred day, a day set aside to worship and revere god.
“But fixing a polling date on Sunday has led the Christian community in Manipur to question if the government is deliberately attempting to desacralize its religious significance. Furthermore, the AMCO is apprehensive that a large number of voters may refrain themselves from exercising their franchise as the polling day falls on Sunday thus, purposely robbing off the people their right to universal franchise,” it had said in a statement.
Christians constitute 41.29 per cent of Manipur’s three million people, while 41.39 per cent are Hindu and 8.4 per cent belong to the Muslim community.