To reschedule vote counting, prayers held in Mizoram churches

To reschedule vote counting, prayers held in Mizoram churches

Aizawl: Responding to an appeal made by a conglomerate of major churches, churches in Mizoram held prayers to seek divine intervention to change the date of counting of votes for state assembly polls held on November 7, a church leader said on Sunday.

Earlier on Saturday, Mizoram Kohhran Hruaitute Committee (MKHC), a conglomerate of 15 major churches, had urged churches to organise prayers during church service on Saturday night or Sunday to seek help from God so that counting is not held on Sunday, which is a sacred day for the majority Christians in the state, the leader said.

He said that prayers were held by some churches on Saturday night, while others on Sunday.

In its letters to churches, the MKHC had expressed disappointment over no sign of progress in the efforts to reschedule the date of counting of votes.

Citing that leaders of the NGO Coordination Committee (NGOCC) will meet the Election Commission on November 28, the MKHC urged church members to hold prayers to ensure that the efforts of the leaders bear fruit.

Mizoram Presbyterian Church, the largest denomination in the state, also separately urged its members to hold prayers to ensure that the date of counting is changed.

Meanwhile, a five-member delegation of NGOCC, currently camping in Delhi, will meet the Chief Election Commissioner and other officials of the Election Commission on Tuesday to re-appeal and press its demand to change the counting of votes.

The committee general secretary Malsawmliana said that the delegation visited the ECI office on Friday seeking an appointment.

He said that the Election Commission allowed them to meet the chief election commissioner and other officials on Tuesday at 3 pm.

The ECI had fixed December 3 as the day for counting of votes for five states- Mizoram, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Telangana.

However, political parties, civil society organisations, churches and a church-sponsored poll watchdog in Mizoram had opposed it and sent numerous pleas to the Election Commission urging it to reschedule the counting date because it falls on Sunday, a sacred day for the majority of Christians in the Christian-majority state.

Polling for the 40-member Mizoram assembly was held peacefully on November 7 where more than 80 per cent of over 8.57 lakh voters cast their votes to decide the fate of 174 candidates.

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