Mizoram: Protest against change in vote counting day sees low turnout
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Aizawl: In separate appeals to the Election Commission of India (ECI), Congress President Lalsawta and the Joint Secretary of the ruling party, B Lalhmangaihzuala, each requested a change in the date for counting votes in the upcoming Mizoram Legislative Assembly elections. Lalhmangaihzuala stated that the request came as per the advice of Chief Minister Zoramthanga and expressed opposition to the initial appointment of Sunday as the counting day, citing it as a disregard for Christian beliefs.

In the letter addressed to the ECI, Lalhmangaihzuala explained, “With the announcement of the Mizoram Legislative Assembly election date set for 7th November 2023 and vote counting scheduled for 3rd December 2023 (Sunday), the Mizos being devout Christians, consider Sunday an important day for religious gatherings and church meetings held in all the villages across the entire state of Mizoram. Given this cultural and religious context, the Mizo National Front of Mizoram appeals to the Election Commission of India to kindly reschedule the vote counting to 4th December 2023 (Monday).” 

Congress President Lalsawta also penned a letter to Rajiv Kumar, Chief Election Commissioner, requesting a change in the date of vote counting for the upcoming Mizoram Legislative Assembly elections..

In his letter, Lalsawta highlights the significance of Sunday as a sacred day for the people of Mizoram, dedicated entirely to the worship of God. Traditionally, no official programs or business transactions take place in the state on Sundays. Lalsawta asserted that not only the Congress Party but the entire Christian community in Mizoram would be uncomfortable withthe counting of votes being held on a Sunday.

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He appealed to the Chief Election Commissioner to respect the sentiments and religious practices of the Mizo people by rescheduling the vote counting date to a weekday, preferably between Monday to Friday.

When questioned by East Mojo about the selection of Sunday as the counting date, Madhup Vyas, the Chief Electoral Officer of Mizoram, clarified that during the visit of Election Commission of India (ECI) officials to Mizoram on August 29 and 30, all political parties in the state had collectively urged against scheduling poll-related activities on Saturdays and Sundays. However, he noted that the decision to set December 3 as the counting date remained consistent across all five states conducting elections.

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