Prominent Muslim leaders have called the controversy completely uncalled for and unnecessary asking the election commission not to pay any heed to demands to change the poll schedule.
Lok Sabha Election 2019: A controversy has errupted over the Election Commission’s decision to conduct three phases of Lok Sabha polls in the month of Ramzan. Opposition parties like Trinamool Congress and Aam Admi Party have accused the commission of ignoring this crucial aspect while deciding the poll schedule that might impact the voting of Muslims saying that it may indirectly benefit the BJP. The BJP has countered this argument saying that it’s just an effort to polarise the society along the communal lines.
Election process will already be over in more than two-third of total Lok Sabha seats before the start of Ramzan. It will also exclude two Muslim majority state of Kerala and Assam. Only the last three phases of Lok Sabha polls will cover the period of Ramzan.
Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar are the three large states with sizeable Muslim population where polling process will still be underway during the month of Ramzan. Even in these three large states, voting for nearly half of the total seats will be over before Ramzan starts on May 5 or 6.
“During Ramadan, polls are conducted as full months cannot be excluded,” an official source in the election commission told Financial Express Online.
“However, date of main festival and Fridays are avoided for poll days,” said the official seeking anonymity.
Several prominent Muslims leaders like AIMIM chief and Lok Sabha member Asaduddin Owaisi and noted poet, author and former Rajya Sabha member Javed Akhtar have called the controversy completely unnecessary. Javed Akhtar also asked the Election Commission not to pay any heed to the demands for changing the poll dates falling in the month of Ramzan.