Indian Catholic News

EC rejects request to postpone Maundy Thursday polling

If the polling booths were located in the schools, it would restrict movement of people in the preceding days of polling.

 
File photo (IANS)
New Delhi: 

The Election Commission has rejected the Tamil Nadu Bishops' Council's request to move the Lok Sabha elections scheduled for Maundy Thursday on April 18, the Madras High Court was told.

Election Commission (EC) counsel Niranjan Rajagopalan made the submission before the state High Court on Tuesday when a petition by the bishops’ council and Madurai Archbishop Antony Pappusamy seeking a direction to the commission to change the poll date came up for hearing.

The division bench comprising Justice S Manikumar and Justice Subramonium Prasad then directed Rajagopalan to file an affidavit on the matter by Thursday, on the next hearing day.

The archbishop in his public interest litigation said that the council had already submitted a memorandum to the EC on the issue and there was no response from it.

He submitted that there were around 50 lakh Christians in the state and for them the Holy Week starts with the Palm Sunday on April 14 and culminates with Easter Sunday on April 21.

The election date coincided with Maundy Thursday, when the Last Supper of Christ is commemorated on the eve of crucifixion on Good Friday, when Jesus’ death on the cross is remembered annually.

Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter were called Holy Tridum (holy three days), he said. Thousands of faithful will visit churches and prayers would continue throughout the night on these days.

Hence, it may affect the turnout of voters, the petitioner said.

He also submitted the Catholic Church was running around 2,800 schools in the state and most of them were used by the government as polling stations for any election.

If the polling booths were located in the schools, it would restrict movement of people in the preceding days of polling.

END

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