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No early polling on account of Ramzan

By Anuj Cariappa

New Delhi, May 06: The Election Commission (EC) has rejected a plea to reschedule the commencement of polls during the last three phases of the Lok Sabha elections to 5 am instead of 7 am due to Ramzan.

Ramzan, the month of fasting in Islam, will begin from May 7 (Tuesday).

No early polling on account of Ramzan

The Supreme Court had on Thursday directed the EC to take a call on a plea seeking to advance the voting timing to 5 am for the remaining phases of the Lok Sabha election due to heat waves and Ramzan.

The petition was filed by advocates Mohammed Nizamuddin Pasha and Asad Hayat, who mentioned it for urgent hearing before a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi. The bench had asked the counsel appearing for the poll body to take a decision on the issue.

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In a letter to Pasha, the poll panel said, "The polling hours are long enough (11) hours against the statutory eight hours for the convenience of all sections of the society. The Commission does not find it feasible to alter the existing hours for poll for the 5th, 6th and 7th phase."

While the fifth phase is on Monday, the sixth phase is on May 12 and the last phase on May 19.

The EC had set up a committee of officers to hear out the petitioner and take a call.

A functionary said besides being tiring for poll staff, such a move was not practical.

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