Mizoram polls: NGO delegation rushes to Delhi to urge ECI for rescheduling counting date

Aizawl:  A six-member delegation of NGO Coordination Committee (NGOCC), an umbrella body of influential civil society and students’ organisations, left for Delhi on Thursday to request the Election Commission to reschedule the day for counting of votes for the Assembly polls held in Mizoram on November 7.

Since the announcement of election schedule for five states on October 9, all political parties, church bodies, NGOs, and civil society organisations in the Christian-majority state (87 per cent) have been requesting the poll panel to reschedule the counting date — December 3, a Sunday. Counting for the four other states — Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Telangana — would also be taken up on that day.

The ruling and opposition parties and several of organiations in Mizoram have been arguing that as Sundays are sacred for Christians and a large percentage of the people in the state attend church services on that day, the vote counting should be rescheduled to another date.

The NGOCC delegation is hopeful to meet the ECI officials on Friday, though they are yet to get an appointment.

A leader of Young Mizo Association (YMA) said that they can’t wait for an appointment, as this is an important issue which is being supported all, cutting across party lines.

The YMA, which has over five lakh members across Mizoram and various other states, is a constituent of the NGOCC.

The NGOCC move came after the state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Madhup Vyas met with the ECI on this issue last week.

The ECI reportedly told the CEO that it will not reschedule the counting date since unlike polling, counting of votes does not involve common people who are free to do what they like on Sunday (December 3).

Media reports quoting officials said that the EC had deferred the date of counting in 2013 from December 8 to December 9 following appeals by political parties, civil society groups and churches in Mizoram.


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