The Election Commission on Sunday rejected a plea seeking to reschedule timings of the last three phases of elections that fall during the Holy month of Ramadan. The plea had asked the national poll body to reschedule the voting from 7 am to 4.30/5 am.
Rejecting the plea, the Election Commission said that it did not ‘find it feasible to alter the existing hours of poll for the 5th, 6th and 7th phase of general elections to the Lok Sabha, 2019.’
The petitions were filed by two advocates Mohammed Nizamuddin Pasha and Asad Hayat. Muslims across India will be observing fasts during the Holy month of Ramadan for one month. While Muslims in Dakshina Kannada, Kerala and Udupi districts of Karnataka will fast from Monday, people in rest of India are expected to observe fast from Tuesday.
In Ramadan, Muslims refrain from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk for 29 or 30 days depending upon the sighting of the moon.
The Election Commission’s decision to hold three phases of elections during Ramadan had become hugely controversial. Many had detected a conspiracy by the Narendra Modi government to discourage Muslims from voting, thereby helping BJP’s poll prospects.
As first reported by Janta Ka Reporter, the EC’s decision to hold three phases of elections during Ramadan had come as a surprise to many in light of Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora’s own statement that the national poll body had factored in ‘examination dates, religious occasions, harvest seasons and inputs from weather department’ before announcing the dates for the Lok Sabha polls.