Punjab polling date postponed to Feb 20

The results will be announced on March 10 as previously scheduled.
Union minister and BJP leader Som Prakash said his party urged the poll panel to postpone the voting date and it welcomed the decision. (Reuters) (For representation purpose)
Union minister and BJP leader Som Prakash said his party urged the poll panel to postpone the voting date and it welcomed the decision. (Reuters) (For representation purpose)
Updated on Jan 18, 2022 03:10 AM IST
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By, Chandigarh

The Election Commission of India on Monday rescheduled polling in Punjab to February 20 from February 14, following demands from almost all key political parties of Punjab seeking a change on account of Guru Ravi Das Jayanti, which falls on February 16.

The results will be announced on March 10 as previously scheduled.

Giving details of the fresh plan, chief electoral officer, Punjab, S Karuna Raju said the notification for polls will be issued on January 25, the last date of filing nominations by candidates will be February 1, the date of scrutiny of nominations will be February 2 and the date of withdrawal February 4.

Seeking a postponement in the elections, political parties, candidates and different social bodies reasoned that many people from the state, mostly those belonging to the scheduled castes that account for about 31% of the state’s population, visit Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh for weeklong celebrations to mark the birth anniversary of the Bhakti movement saint born near Varanasi.

Campaigning, even voting could suffer as a result, the parties said.

Reacting to the postponement, political parties in the state welcomed the ECI’s decision, saying that the move will enable Guru Ravi Das’s followers to visit Varanasi.

Bahujan Samaj Party’s Punjab chief Jasvir Singh Garhi was the first to demand postponement of the polling, followed by state chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi. Other parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party, and various regional parties also raised the demand.

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal said, “We urged the ECI to postpone the date and we welcome the decision”. The SAD is contesting next month’s polls in alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party. Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu also welcomed the decision.

Union minister and BJP leader Som Prakash said his party urged the poll panel to postpone the voting date and it welcomed the decision.

The Aam Aadmi Party’s senior leader Harpal Singh Cheema, who is leader of the Opposition in Punjab, said, “AAP demanded that the election date should be postponed and we are happy that ECI has taken this decision.”

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Wednesday, June 29, 2022