New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Monday decided to postpone the Punjab Assembly Elections 2022 by 6 days after several political parties had approached the EC to postpone the polls in the state in view of Ravidas Jayanti on February 16. With this, the Assembly polls in the state will now be conducted on February 20 instead of the previously decided date of February 14 and it will now coincide with the third phase of polling in Uttar Pradesh.
This came after Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, BJP and its allies, and the BSP had urged the poll panel to postpone the date of voting as lakhs of followers of Guru Ravidas travel to Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh to celebrate the day. The parties had said that several followers of Guru Ravidas would not be able to exercise their franchise on February 14 as they would be travelling.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday extended its support to the demand of postponing the assembly polls in Punjab to be held on February 14 in view of Guru Ravidas Jayanti, which will be celebrated on February 16.
"As per the election schedule announced by the Election Commission, the voting for Punjab Vidhan Sabha Elections is scheduled for February 14, 2022. The Gurupurb of Sri Guru Ravi Dass Ji falls on February 16, 2022. The state of Punjab has the substantial population of followers of Guru Ravi Das Ji including the Schedule Caste Community which is about 32 per cent of population of Punjab. On this pious occasion, millions of their devotees would visit Banaras in Uttar Pradesh to celebrate the Gurupurb. So it would not be possible for them to participate in the voting process," says a letter from Subhash Sharma, State General Secretary, BJP Punjab.
Captain Amarinder Singh's Punjab Lok Congress (PLC) also extended its support to the demand of postponing assembly polls in Punjab by a week in view of Guru Ravidas Jayanti on February 16. The party General Secretary Kamal Saini in a letter to the Election Commission of India said, "Since elections are scheduled two days before the Guru Ravidas Jayanti, many voters may be denied the chance to exercise the franchise as they will be a way to Banaras for the annual pilgrimage."
The PLC leader observed it should not be difficult for the Election Commission to reschedule the dates for Punjab, as everything else will remain the same. He pointed out, there are millions of followers of Guru Ravidas living in Punjab and a large number of them go for the pilgrimage to Varanasi on the Guru's birth anniversary.
(With Agencies Inputs)
Posted By: Talibuddin Khan