Seeking change in counting day, Mizoram NGO body visits Delhi to meet EC

Seeking change in counting day, Mizoram NGO body visits Delhi to meet EC

Aizawl, Nov 23 (PTI) A delegation of Mizoram NGO Coordination Committee (NGOCC), an umbrella body of major civil society and student organisations, has left for Delhi with a hope to meet Election Commission officials for rescheduling the day for counting of votes for state assembly polls.

The ECI has fixed December 3 as the day for counting of votes for five states - Mizoram, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Telangana. As December 3 is a Sunday, all major political parties of the Christian-majority state, civil society organisations and others had urged the poll panel to change the day as it will clash with church programmes. The EC, however, stuck to its decision saying counting, unlike polling, does not involve common people and they are free to do what they like on that day.

The six-member delegation of the NGOCC has left for Delhi, though it has no appointment with any EC official.

'Although we don't have a prior appointment with the Election Commission, we have been advised (by a section of officials) to reach Delhi and try to meet the EC officials on Friday. We can't wait for an appointment,' Malsawmliana, the general secretary of the Central Young Mizo Association (CYMA), told PTI.

The CYMA is a constituent of the NGOCC while Malsawmliana is one of the six people who are going to Delhi.

Malsawmliana expressed hope that the meeting would come out positive.

CYMA president Lalhmachhuana said that they would try to meet the chief election commissioner and request him to reschedule the counting date.

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 NGOCC 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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