AIZAWL: In the face of repeated appeals from various quarters, the Election Commission (EC) has affirmed its decision to proceed with the scheduled date for counting of votes for the Mizoram assembly polls on December 3, a top official confirmed on Thursday.
Given that December 3 falls on a Sunday, major political parties in the Christian-majority state, along with civil society organisations, had urged the EC to reconsider the date, citing clashes with church programs.
“I have discussed the matter with the Election Commission. Counting will be held as per the schedule announced by the commission,” stated Mizoram Chief Electoral Officer Madhup Vyas to a national news agency.
He visited Delhi and engaged with EC officials on the matter earlier this week.
Vyas also highlighted that counting, unlike polling, does not involve the general public. Only designated staff working directly under the EC will be involved in the counting of votes, allowing others the freedom to pursue their activities on December 3.
“Counting has to take place for all five states at the pre-designated date,” Vyas added. The vote count will encompass Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan, and Telangana.
Mizoram witnessed polling for its 40-member assembly on November 7, with over 80% of the 8.57 lakh voters participating to determine the fate of 174 candidates.
Despite appeals from political parties, including the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) and the BJP, as well as church and student bodies, urging the EC to reschedule the counting date, the decision remains unchanged.
The NGO Coordination Committee, a conglomerate of major civil society organisations, also advocated for a shift to December 4 or 5 to avoid the clash with Sunday, a day significant for the Christian population, constituting 87% of Mizoram’s residents according to the 2011 census.