West Bengal will go to polls in seven phases between April 11 and May 19. The Ramadan begins on May 5 and will end on June 4.
The Trinamool Congress of Mamata Banerjee has questioned the Election Commission’s decision to hold Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal during the Ramadan period. Senior party leader and Kolkata Municipal Corporation Mayor Firhad Hakim said that the schedule was designed in a way that most of constituencies go to polls during the Ramadan so that Muslims cannot go out and exercise their franchise. The Ramadan begins on May 5 and will end on June 4.
As per the Election Commission schedule, West Bengal will go to polls in seven phases between April 11 and May 19. The state has 42 parliamentary seats. The results will be declared on May 23. Hakim said that Muslim people will face difficulties in exercising their right because poll dates are clashing with Ramadan.
“Since the Election Commission is a constitutional body, I don’t want to comment much in to the matter. But they should have considered that people will suffer during Ramzan (in casting votes),” he said.
“The Election Commission has announced the poll dates on Ramzan so that minorities are unable to cast their votes. But I would like to tell them (the BJP) that the people of Bengal are with (Trinamool chief) Mamata Banerjee,” he added.
According to 2011 Census, Muslims comprise over 27% of the state’s 10 crore (approximate) population. Muslims are minority in all districts of the state except Uttar Dinajpur (49.92%), Maldah (51.27%) and Murshidabad (66.28%).
The Trinamool Congress banks heavily on the Muslim votes and the Mamata Banerjee government has already announced many measures to appease the Muslims.