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Church body's plea to postpone LS polls scheduled for April 18

Press Trust of India  |  Kochi 

An influential Christian group Friday made an appeal to the to "either anticipate or postpone" the elections scheduled for April 18 as the day 'Thursday' is a holy day which commemorates the Jesus had with his disciples.

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of (CBCI), the apex body of the in the country, made the plea in a letter to the (EC).

It informed the that "with the important election date clashing with the Religious Services Thursday, Christians may find it very difficult to fulfil both the calls for worship and for electoral duties specially those called to be poll officers or are placed on other active polling duties."

Christians celebrate with three intensive days of prayers--which commemorates the Jesus had with his disciples after which he was arrested, Good Friday which observes the day of Crucifixion and death of Jesus and Sunday which celebrates his resurrection.

is a public holiday and is on Sunday.

The has scheduled polling for these days.

In his letter to Sunil Arora, the CBCI's Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, said"We know April 18, Maundy Thursday, is not a public holiday but most Christians either take leave from work or come back early to participate in the sacred worship."


It said the Church was not making the request to him on grounds of religious sentiments but rather in view of the difficulties of logistics as well as hardships that may be faced in view of the election date fixed for April 18 in some states.

During polls, a large number of booths are placed in the vicinity of Churches and in schools run by the Church, the CBCI said.

"Given the exigencies of the mode of conduct of Elections as well, as special security needs for polling, your office also may find difficult to conduct the election as I am sure you would not like to deprive millions of Christians the opportunity to worship in their stipulated and consecrated places of worship during days which they consider most holy," it said.

The letter said "a change in the announced date may cause inconvenience to you, your office and to your collaborators. But our apprehensions are that, not changing the date may create avoidable but much bigger difficulties for all in the conduct of the polls."

According to the letter, elections are scheduled to be held on April 18 in Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Manipur, Odisha, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, March 15 2019. 19:05 IST
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