EC sticks to Dec 3 as poll counting date, despite appeals for change in Mizoram

EC sticks to Dec 3 as poll counting date, despite appeals for change in Mizoram

Aizawl, Nov 16 (PTI) The Election Commission has decided to go ahead with the scheduled date for counting of votes for the Mizoram assembly polls on December 3, despite repeated appeals by various quarters to change it, a top official said on Thursday.

As December 3 is a Sunday, all major political parties of the Christian-majority state, civil societies organisations and others had urged the poll panel to change the day as it will clash with church programmes.

'I have discussed the matter with the Election Commission. Counting will be held as per the schedule announced by the commission,' Mizoram Chief Electoral Officer Madhup Vyas told PTI.

Vyas visited Delhi and talked to EC officials on the issue on Tuesday.

Counting, unlike polling, does not involve common people and they are free to do what they like on December 3 as only the designated staff who work directly under the EC would be involved in the counting of votes, he said.

'Counting has to take place for all five states at the pre-designated date,' Vyas added.

Votes will be counted for Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Telangana on December 3.

Polling for the 40-member Mizoram assembly was held on November 7. More than 80 per cent of over 8.57 lakh voters cast their votes to decide the fate of 174 candidates.

Political parties, including the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) and the BJP, church and student bodies had written to the EC urging the poll panel to reschedule the counting date. The NGO Coordination Committee, a conglomerate of major civil society organisations, also did the same.

Appeals had been made to change the counting date to December 4 or 5 to ensure that it does not fall on a Sunday. According to the 2011 census, Christians constitute 87 per cent of the population of Mizoram. PTI COR NN

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