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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 16 April 2024

Punjab: Election Commission of India defers polls by six days

The Scheduled Castes form 31.9 per cent of the population in the state

Our Bureau New Delhi Published 18.01.22, 03:20 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. Shutterstock

The Election Commission of India on Monday deferred the Assembly polls in Punjab by six days after almost all the political parties complained that the February 14 vote coincided with Ravidas Jayanti celebrations.

Punjab will now vote on February 20.

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Guru Ravidas’s birth anniversary is celebrated by Ravidassias — who consider themselves a distinct faith — as well as many Sikhs and Hindus, especially Dalits.

During the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the Election Commission had rejected a similar demand in southern India to change a polling date that had coincided with Maundy Thursday, an occasion on the Christian calendar.

The Scheduled Castes form 31.9 per cent of the population in Punjab.

A poll panel statement said its attention had been drawn to the “movement of a large number of devotees from Punjab to Varanasi (the place of the saint’s birth and death) for participation in Sri Guru Ravidas Ji Jayanti celebrations, which is observed on 16th February 2022”. Many devotees start moving to Varanasi around a week earlier.

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