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EC yet to respond to call for Mizoram’s Serchhip bypoll postponement

AIZAWL: The Election Commission of India (ECI) is yet to decide on the demand for the bypoll in Serchhip assembly constituency of Mizoram to be postponed.

The Serchhip bypoll and counting of votes are scheduled for April 17 and May 2, respectively.

Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga and various political parties have urged the poll panel to postpone the polling and counting dates because they fall on Saturday and Sunday, which are religious days for the Christians.

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Saturday is a holy day in Mizoram for some Christian denominations, especially the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, which observes the Sabbath, a day of religious observance and abstinence from work. Sunday is also a Christian holiday.

According to Seventh Day Adventist Church, many voters belonging to the particular church would not be able to exercise their franchise because Saturday is Sabbath (similar to Sunday) for them.

Mizoram’s joint chief electoral officer David Liansanglura Pachuau said the poll panel had recently approached the state chief electoral officer (CEO) for details on the number of voters in the Serchhip constituency and across the state who are solely members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

The number of voters in the state who belong to the Seventh Day Adventist church is projected to be 16,845, or 1.50 per cent of all voters.

There are 19,295 voters, including 10,193 females in the Serchhip Assembly constituency, according to sources.

According to sources, voting will take place in 29 polling stations using electronic voting machines (EVMs).

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