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Punjab Assembly elections: Here’s why EC determined to push polling date to 20 February

The Election Commission’s announcement got here after Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and others requested to delay the polls on account of Guru Ravidas Jayanti on 16 February

Image used for representational functions solely. PTI

After holding a meet this morning, the Election Commission has introduced that the polling for Punjab Assembly elections will happen on 20 February as an alternative of 14 February.

According to the schedule, the EC will problem the notification for the polls on 25 January and the candidates can file their nomination until 1 February. The outcomes will probably be declared on 10 March.

So, why was there a requirement to defer the polls and what’s the story all about. We clarify.

Call to push again polls

On 14 January, Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi had written to Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra, requesting him to postpone the Assembly polls by no less than six days on account of Guru Ravidas Jayanti on 16 February.

As of now, the Punjab Assembly election is slated to be held in a single section on 14 February and the outcomes will probably be out on 10 March.

In his letter to the EC, Channi had written that devotees can be travelling to Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh for Guru Ravidas Jayanti and therefore, the elections must be pushed again in order to allow them to forged their vote.

It has been reported that round 20 lakh Scheduled Caste (SC) devotees are prone to go to Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh between 10-16 February.

Incidentally, the Scheduled Castes group contains 32 per cent of Punjab’s inhabitants.

“In such a situation, many people from this community would not be able to cast their votes for the state assembly, which is otherwise their constitutional right,” Channi mentioned within the letter. “They have requested that the voting date may be extended in such a way that they are able to visit Banaras from 10 February to 16 February as also participate in the assembly elections.”

Punjab BJP additionally made the same request asking for a push within the polling date. Som Prakash, Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, has additionally written to the Chief Election Commissioner asking that the state election be rescheduled to a date after 18 February.

Additionally, the Punjab Lok Congress has supported the demand to postpone the election in Punjab by per week. “Tens of thousands of people from Punjab visit Banaras every year around Guru Ravidas Jayanti,” mentioned PLC normal secretary Kamal Saini in a letter to the ballot panel.

Shiromani Akali Dal (Sanyukt) chief Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, in a letter to the ballot panel, additionally sought that the date of voting be postponed.

Polls in Punjab

On 8 January, the Election Commission had introduced that voting for the 117 seats in Punjab can be held in a single section on 14 February. The votes will probably be counted on 10 March.

In the 2017 elections, the Congress had gained an absolute majority within the state by profitable 77 seats and ousted the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party authorities after 10 years.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) got here second with 20 seats, adopted by the SAD-BJP alliances with 18 seats.

All political events in Punjab are specializing in Hindu, Scheduled Caste and Other Backward Classes vote financial institution within the upcoming state meeting elections. They are additionally wooing nearly all of conventional Sikh votes.

The Congress received 43 per cent SC Hindu votes in 2017 meeting polls and 37 per cent in 2012 whereas it bagged 48 per cent non-SC Hindu votes final time and 46 per cent within the earlier election.

Political analyst Professor Kuldeep Singh was quoted as telling the New Indian Express: “In Punjab, caste politics shouldn’t be as sturdy as in different states. But after Channi grew to become the chief minister, it has been highlighted. The Jat Sikhs historically vote for the SAD. But this time, as a result of sacrilege problem and farmer stir, the Akalis will get much less votes from this group. The Hindu votes are prone to be divided between all events.”

With inputs from businesses

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