New Delhi: Election Commission of India on Monday rescheduled Punjab assembly election 2022 till February 20. Political parties had requested to hold elections on February 16 after the festival of Guru Ravidas Jayanti.
Earlier, polling in Punjab was scheduled to be held on February 14. Political parties had told the Election Commission that many voters may miss out on voting if polling is held just two days before Guru Ravidas Jayanti.
Election Commission said, “They have noted that a large number of devotees start leaving for Varanasi about a week before the festival day, and keeping the polling day on February 14, 2022, deprives a large number of voters from voting. Will go.”
Guru Ravidas Jayanti is a big festival celebrated in India which is popular among the Dalit community. Dalits make up over 30% of Punjab’s electorate in the proposed assembly elections.
A senior official said that initially the Election Commission felt it would be appropriate to schedule the Punjab assembly election 2022 two days before the festival, but Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi said many devotees would travel to Varanasi just before the day of polling.
Channi sent a letter urging the national electoral body to postpone the pre-scheduled February 14 assembly elections in Punjab “to enable around 2,000,000 SC devotees to exercise their right to vote”.
Following the Punjab CM’s plea, Shiromani Akali Dal, Bharatiya Janata Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and other parties contesting elections in the state also made similar requests.
There has been no change in the date of counting of votes for Punjab assembly election 2022 on March 10.