Imphal: Former Member of Parliament from Manipur BD Behring has appealed the Election Commission of India and the Chief Election Commission, Manipur, to review the polling date of the first phase of the upcoming State Assembly election that falls on a Sunday (February 27).

In an open letter to the ECI and CEO, Manipur, the former MP said it is against the religious sentiment of the majority Christian community of the state to have voting on a Sunday.

Similarly, earlier the All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM) had also expressed their uneasiness over the poll date under the first phase. The tribal student body said 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.

According to the former MP, nine hill assembly constituencies of 46 Saikul (ST), 50 Kangpokpi, 51 Saitu (ST), 56 Thanton (ST), 57 Henglep (ST), 58 Churachandpur (ST), 59 Saikot (ST) and 60 Singhat (ST) are among the 38 constituencies that will vote in the first phase. And the people of these nine assembly constituencies are predominantly Christian.

Since the number of assembly constituencies going for the polls in first phase is 38 and second phase is only 22, it will be more appropriate to modify the order and include the nine hill assembly constituencies in the second phase scheduled on March 3, he said.

The former MP added that this re-arranging of the polling date will serve the interest of every citizens in Manipur and also preserve the sanctity of the Constitution.

The tribals who constituted about 43% of the state’s population are predominantly Christian and for Christians, Sunday is a day that is holy and sacred. It is day for rest and worship, said ATSUM.

On Monday, leaders of All Manipur Christian Organisation (AMCO) also met the CEO Manipur and requested him to reschedule the date of the election.

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