Home » News » India » EC Defers Punjab Polls to Feb 20 After Parties Seek Fresh Date Due to Guru Ravidas Jayanti
1-MIN READ

EC Defers Punjab Polls to Feb 20 After Parties Seek Fresh Date Due to Guru Ravidas Jayanti

By: News Desk

News18.com

Last Updated: January 17, 2022, 14:58 IST

People walk past the Election Commission of India office building in New Delhi, India March 11, 2019. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

People walk past the Election Commission of India office building in New Delhi, India March 11, 2019. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Several political parties had approached the EC to postpone the polls in the state in view of Ravidas Jayanti on February 16.

The Election Commission on Monday decided to hold the single-phase assembly polls in Punjab on February 20 instead of February 14 in view of Guru Ravidas Jayanti.

Several political parties had approached the EC to postpone the polls in the state in view of Ravidas Jayanti on February 16.

Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, BJP and its allies, and the BSP had urged the poll panel to postpone the date of voting as lakhs of followers of Guru Ravidas travel to Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh to celebrate the day.

In a statement, the Election Commission said several political parties, the Punjab government and other organisations have sought the polls to be deferred. “…They have also brought to the notice that a large number of devotees start moving for Varanasi around a week before the day of celebration and keeping the poll day on 14 February 2022 will deprive a large number of electors from voting,” the Election Commission said.

“After considering these new facts emerging out of these representations, inputs from the state government and Chief Electoral Officer, past precedence and all facts and circumstances in the matter, now commission has decided to reschedule the elections,” it said.

The parties had said that several followers of Guru Ravidas would not be able to exercise their franchise on February 14 as they would be travelling.

In a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner on Sunday, Punjab BJP General Secretary Subhash Sharma said, “The state has substantial population of followers of Guru Ravidas ji, including the Scheduled Castes (SC) community which is about 32 per cent of the population of Punjab. On this pious occasion, millions of devotees would visit Banaras in Uttar Pradesh to celebrate the gurparb. So it would not be possible for them to participate in the voting process…”

Punjab Aam Aadmi Party chief Bhagwant Mann tweeted his party’ request to the Election Commission to defer the election by a week.

Counting of votes is on March 10.

Read all the Latest News, Breaking News and Coronavirus News here.

first published:January 17, 2022, 14:55 IST
last updated:January 17, 2022, 14:58 IST