Postpone polls scheduled for Maundy Thursday: Goa Christians
Social activists and some political parties in Goa too have submitted similar petitions for change in voting date.
The Catholic Church in Goa has requested a fresh date for parliamentary elections as the schedule of the nine-phased polls in the state falls on Maundy Thursday. Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao of Goa and Daman sent a letter to the Election Commission of India (ECI) requesting a postponement of the April 17 poll.
Social activists and some political parties in Goa too have submitted similar petitions for change in voting date. The Archbishop said that Holy Thursday was one of the most-solemn days in the liturgical year and the election dates would cause serious conflict between religious and constitutional duties, especially since over 30% of voters were Christians, who may not be able to attend Maundy Thursday service.
The fifth phase of the general elections scheduled for Maundy Thursday covers several other significant Christian areas spread over states of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Chhattisgarh.
India’s parliamentary elections are phased out to ensure free and fair polls as political parties, influential castes and extremists from Left and Right wings make an attempt to rig the polls. The phasing out of polls are done taking into account availability of paramilitary forces that prevent rigging; but several other events like school exams, religious festivals and climatic conditions are factored in while the ECI schedules the polls.
The petition presented by the organizations also called on authorities to respect the holidays of all religious communities.
Source: Agenzia Fides