This Article is From Jan 17, 2022

Will Elections Be Delayed For Punjab? A Decision Is Likely Today

Punjab assembly election 2022: The Election Commission will discuss whether Punjab polls can be postponed, sources said

Punjab Election Polls: Punjab Chief Minister, other parties have asked Election Commission to defer polls

New Delhi:

Whether the assembly election in Punjab can be postponed as requested by leaders of several political parties will be discussed at a meeting of the Election Commission today, sources have said. The Election Commission is likely to announce its decision on this matter around noon, people with direct knowledge of the matter said, asking not to be named.

Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi in a letter to the Election Commission suggested the assembly polls on February 14 should be deferred by at least six days factoring in Guru Ravidas Jayanti.

In the letter, Mr Channi said representatives of the Scheduled Castes community, which comprises 32 per cent of Punjab's population, have told him that a large number of people from the community would "visit Banaras in Uttar Pradesh from February 10 to 16" and so may not be able to vote. The birth anniversary of Guru Ravidas is on February 16.

"In such a situation, many people from this community would not be able to cast their votes for the state assembly, which is otherwise their constitutional right," Mr Channi said in the letter on January 13. "They have requested that the voting date may be extended in such a way that they are able to visit Banaras from February 10 to February 16 as also participate in the assembly elections," he said.

The BJP and its allies including the Punjab Lok Congress led by former Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh have also requested the Election Commission to defer the February 14 election in Punjab.

In a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner on Sunday, Punjab BJP General Secretary Subhash Sharma said, "The state has substantial population of followers of Guru Ravidas ji, including the Scheduled Castes (SC) community which is about 32 per cent of the population of Punjab. On this pious occasion, millions of devotees would visit Banaras in Uttar Pradesh to celebrate the gurparb. So it would not be possible for them to participate in the voting process..."

Punjab Aam Aadmi Party chief Bhagwant Mann tweeted his party' request to the Election Commission to defer the election by a week.

Punjab will vote in a single phase on February 14; counting is on March 10.