AIZAWL: In a scathing attack, the Mizoram Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) has criticised the Election Commission (EC) of disregarding the sentiments of the people by refusing to change the date for counting votes in the state assembly poll.
The party expressed disappointment, stating that despite multiple appeals from various political entities, including the Congress, the EC has remained firm on the initially scheduled date of December 3.
The bone of contention lies in the fact that December 3 falls on a Sunday, considered sacred by the majority Christian population in Mizoram.
In a statement issued on Monday, the Congress asserted that the EC’s decision showcased a lack of sensitivity to the cultural and religious practices of the Mizos.
The party drew attention to the EC’s decision to change the polling date for Rajasthan due to a Hindu festival, juxtaposing it with the alleged reluctance to accommodate similar requests from the Northeastern state.
“The ECI does not only care about hurting the sentiments of the Mizo people. It is deliberately trying to hurt their sentiments,” the Congress statement alleged, pointing to what it perceives as a selective approach by the EC.
Last week, the Chief Electoral Officer of Mizoram, Madhup Vyas, announced that the Commission had decided not to reschedule the counting date, leading to further frustration among political circles in the state.
Mizoram Congress president Lalsawta had previously written to the Election Commission on October 9, urging a change in the counting date, highlighting that no official activities occur on Sundays in Mizoram.
Despite a follow-up letter on November 13, the EC remained unmoved.
The discontent is not limited to political spheres, as civil society organisations, churches, and a church-sponsored poll watchdog in Mizoram have joined the chorus of disapproval.
The Mizoram NGO Coordination Committee, comprising major civil society organisations and student bodies, has issued a threat to stage a massive protest if their pleas for rescheduling the counting date go unanswered.
The committee, representing five major organizations in Mizoram, including the Central Young Mizo Association and Mizo Zirlai Pawl, has decided to send a delegation to Delhi to engage with the EC.
If the discussions do not yield positive results, the committee is prepared to organize a large-scale protest.