Aizawl, Nov 20 : The NGO Coordination Committee (NGOCC) of Mizoram, an umbrella organisation of major civil societies and students’ bodies, has decided to send a delegation to Delhi to once again urge the Election Commission to reschedule the Assembly elections’ vote counting date in the state.
Election to the 40-member Mizoram assembly was held on November 7 and the counting of votes would be done on December 3 (Sunday) along with four other states — Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, and Telangana.
The NGOCC has decided to send a delegation to Delhi to meet the Election Commission (EC) once again to request the poll panel to change the date for counting of votes as Sundays are sacred for Christians and a large percentage of the people in the state attend Church services on the day.
The Mizoram Kohhran Hruaitute Committee (MKHC), a conglomerate of leaders of major church denominations, Chairman Rev Dr Chawnghmingthanga on Monday said that they are now trying to get the appointment of the ECI and after getting the date of meeting, the delegation would go to Delhi.
The MKHC is one of the leading bodies of the NGOCC.
“The proposed delegation would comprise leaders of the Young Mizo Association (YMA), NGOs, student bodies, non-political organisations, representatives of all political parties, civil society organisations,” Chawnghmingthanga told IANS.
If the EC continues to remain adamant after the proposed meeting in Delhi, a ‘protest day’ would be organised across Mizoram, the NGOCC said in a statement.
The NGOCC’s decision to send the delegation to Delhi came after state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Madhup Vyas’s meeting with the EC on the issue last week.
The EC reportedly told the CEO that it would not reschedule the counting date.
Since the announcement of the election schedule, all political parties, church bodies, NGOs, CSOs and many individuals jointly and separately requested the poll panel multiple times to reschedule the counting date.
Media reports quoting officials said that the EC deferred the date of counting in 2013 from December 8 to December 9 following appeals by political parties, civil societies and churches of the state.
EC officials have argued that counting, unlike polling, does not involve common people and they are free to do what they like on December 3 as only the EC appointed officials, counting personnel and security forces would be involved in the counting of votes.
After considering the representations from various political parties and social organisations for changing the polling date in Rajasthan in view of large scale wedding and social engagements, the poll panel earlier changed the date of rescheduled the state elections to November 25 from November 23.
A leader of the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) said that the EC has rescheduled the polling date in Rajasthan but is unwilling to change the counting date in Mizoram.
According to the 2011 Census, around 87 per cent of Mizoram populations are Christian.
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