Supreme Christian body calls for postponement of first phase of Assembly elections
A supreme body of Christian organizations in Manipur On Thursday demanded the postponement of the first phase of the State Assembly poll and said he could take a court action against the Election Commission of India if the date is not changed, the Imphal Free Press reported.
The Christian organization All Manipur objected to the first phase of the election being held on a Sunday (February 27), saying it was a day of worship for the Christian community.
On Thursday, the supreme body held a meeting with church leaders at the Manipur Baptist Convention in Chingmeirong area of Imphal to discuss the issue. The head of the Christian organization All Manipur, S Prim Vaiphei, said that the participants in the meeting had decided to remind the electoral commission to postpone the first phase of the poll.
Vaiphei added that members of the Christian community will meet Chief Minister N Biren Singh to press their demands.
Meanwhile, the Manipur Tribal Students Union has also urged the polling committee to hold the first phase of the elections on another day.
“The Tribals who constitute about 43% of the state’s population are predominantly Christian and for Christians, Sunday is a holy and sacred day,” the ATSUM said. “It is a day of rest and worship.”
The union said holding the election on a Sunday will prevent many people from taking part.
The Manipur Assembly election will be held in two phases. The second phase will take place on March 3 and the results will be announced on March 10.
On January 17, the Election Commission postponed the Punjab Assembly elections to February 20 from February 14. Political parties had urged the panel to postpone the election because of Guru Ravidas Jayanti.
Several leaders had said that many residents would leave for the city of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, around the polling date to celebrate the poet’s birthday.
Leaders had expressed fears that these residents would not be able to vote in such a scenario.
Manipur Congress administers Loyalty Pledge
During this time, the Congress in Manipur on Thursday administered a promise of loyalty to its candidates for the election of the Assembly, the Economic period reported.
Leader of the Opposition Okram Ibobi Singh led the candidates to be sworn in at Kangla Fort in Imphal.
In the 2017 assembly elections, the Congress had become the largest party, but N Biren Singh of the Bharatiya Janata Party later became the chief minister.
Over the past five years, 42% of Congress MPs in Manipur switched to the BJP, according to India time.