Mizoram CM, church groups write to EC seeking bypoll deferment

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Aizawl, Mar 19 (PTI) Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga has written to the Election Commission seeking deferment of the bypoll to Serchhip assembly seat slated for April 17, an official of the CMO said on Friday.

Zoramthanga also sought postponement of the date of counting by a day or two, The official said that the chief minister in his letter on Wednesday urged the poll body to prepone the poll date to April 16 as the day it has fixed is Sabbath for the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Mizoram.

A significant number of people in the state belong to this church and many of them will not cast their votes if the polling is held on April 17.

He said Sabbath is as significant to Seventh Day Adventist Church as Sunday is to the Christians belonging to other denominations and the preponement will allow all voters to rightfully exercise their franchise in the upcoming bypoll.

Mizo Conference of Seventh Day Adventist Church and Serchhip Thalai Pawl (Serchhip Youth Club) too wrote to the EC on Thursday seeking deferment of polling and counting dates.

In its letter to the chief election commissioner, the Seventh Day Adventist Church said that Sabbath observers refrain from secular activities on that day (Saturday).

Holding the bypoll on Saturday meant many of its followers who live in Serchhip will not cast their votes.

On Wednesday, Mizorams main opposition party Zoram Peoples Movement and the BJP had written to the EC saying that both polling and counting set by it fell on days important for Christians.

As per the schedule announced by the EC on Tuesday voting for Serchip will be held on April 17 and counting on May 2.

The bypoll to Serchhip seat was necessitated after the disqualification of incumbent MLA Lalduhoma in November 2020 under the anti-defection law. PTI COR KK KK