Election Commission rejects plea seeking early voting
The Election Commission rejected the plea that sought to advance the commencement of voting from 7 am to 4.30-5 am in the month of Ramzan.
In a letter to advocate Mohammad Nizamuddin Pasha, the EC said that advancement of time “is not practically possible for several reasons”, which included the time it took to set up the booths, conducting mock polls, the difficulty of reaching booths in far-flung areas, as well as already stretched working hours of polling officials.
Pasha and another advocate Asad Hayat had approached the EC on April 29 to consider advancing the beginning of voting for the remaining three phases of the ongoing national polls due to the current heat wave and because the Muslim fasting month of Ramzan was due to begin on May 6 or 7.
On May 2, the Supreme Court directed the EC to consider the representation. “The Election Commission of India is directed to pass necessary orders,” a Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi-led bench said in response to a plea regarding the representation.
Muslims follow a lunar calendar and beginning of a month is subject to sighting of the moon. Muslims do not even consume water during Ramzan from dawn to dusk. Ramzan is likely to begin from May 7.
The fifth phase of polling will take place on May 6, while the remaining two will take place on May 12 and 19, respectively.
An EC spokesperson refused to comment on the matter as it was sub-judice.