Updated: January 11, 2022 9:44:23 pm
Stating that the first phase of polling in the state falls on a Sunday, the All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM) and the Kuki Inpi Manipur (KIM) have urged the Election Commission of India (ECI) to reschedule the election date.
The first phase of polling in Manipur is scheduled to be held on February 27, which is a Sunday.
Members of tribal communities, who constitute about 43% of the state’s population, are predominantly Christians. ATSUM has said that Sundays are considered to be sacred by the Christian community and it is a day of rest and worship for them.
“The state election commission lacks the susceptibility and the ability to appreciate the spiritual values, beliefs and practices of the Christian community of the state. This apathy towards the religious sentiment of the Christian community is in fact antagonistic,” ATSUM said.
The KIM, the apex body of the Kukis, also submitted a complaint to the state chief election officer, appealing that the date of first phase polling be rescheduled.
Shokholun Mate, general secretary of KIM, said that scheduling polls on a Sunday has led to “serious objections and complaints” and it is bound to hurt the “religious sentiments” of the Christian community. This may also prevent many people from turning up to vote, it added.
Since the EC always tries to ensure that all eligible voters can exercise their right to franchise, it would be in everyone’s best interest to reschedule the polling day, Mate said.