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Politics
11 Mar 2019

Elections during Ramzan would be problematic: TMC-leader's statement sparks row

Election during Ramzan sparks row: Leaders weigh in

On Monday, Kolkata Mayor and TMC leader Firhad Hakim expressed displeasure at the general election dates announced by Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, as it clashes with Ramzan.

Hakim was of the opinion that many Muslims might not be able to cast their votes.

However, several BJP leaders and AIMIM Chief Asaduddin Owaisi criticized the statement.

Here's what the controversy is all about.

In context

Election during Ramzan sparks row: Leaders weigh in
Elections during Ramzan will be difficult: Hakim

Statement

Elections during Ramzan will be difficult: Hakim

West Bengal will cast votes in all seven phases. The state has 31% of Muslim voters and it will be a key issue in the general elections.

While noting TMC respects the EC, Hakim said, "The seven-phase election will be tough for people in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal. It'll be most difficult for those who will be observing Ramzan at that time."

Details

Hakim added EC should have thought about Muslims

Ramzan is a holy month in which Muslims fast from dawn to dusk. The 30-day event comes to an end on Eid-ul-Fitr.

The fast, especially during summers would, of course, be difficult. About this, Hakim said, "The minority population in these three states is quite high. They will be casting votes while observing 'Roza'. EC should have kept this in mind."

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Owaisi slammed parties for creating unnecessary controversy

Critics

Owaisi slammed parties for creating unnecessary controversy

This isn't the first time TMC leaders have raked the Ramzan issue.

During the last panchayat elections, which happened in May, Partha Chatterjee met West Bengal election commissioner AK Singh requesting him to conclude the polls before the holy month starts.

But Asaduddin Owaisi, the chief of AIMIM, felt controversy is unwarranted. He asked parties to not use Muslims or Ramzan as an excuse.

Voter turnout will increase during Ramzan, felt Owaisi

"Muslims will definitely fast in Ramzan, they go out and lead a normal life, they go to office, even the poorest of the poor will also fast. My analysis is that Ramzan will lead to more voting percentage because one will be free from all worldly duties," said Owaisi.

BJP's stand

BJP leader said Ramzan is all about "Ibadat"

BJP's All-India secretary, minority morcha, Arshad Alam, also criticized TMC's stand.

Alam said, "It's not written anywhere in Islam that one has to take rest in air-conditioned rooms while fasting during Ramzan. For us, Ramzan means 'Ibadat' under any circumstances."

Alam also said a "true Muslim" will keep fast and complete their duties by voting. He also slammed leaders for dragging Ramzan in elections.

Here's what EC said on the controversy

EC's stand

Here's what EC said on the controversy

Notably, the Election Commission also berated the controversy and said the entire month cannot be excluded.

"During Ramzan, polls are conducted as a full month cannot be excluded. However, the date of the main festival and Fridays are avoided for poll days," EC said.

Earlier, Arora said the EC took into account exam dates, festivals and harvest season before deciding the dates.

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Most asked questions

Who is Firhad Hakim?

What did Firhad Hakim say?

When will elections be held in West Bengal?

When will results of Lok Sabha elections be declared?

More questions

Who is Firhad Hakim?

Asked on 11-03-2019 by Hemant Dasgupta

Answered by NewsBytes

Firhad Hakim is the leader of TMC and mayor of Kolkata.

What did Firhad Hakim say?

Asked on 11-03-2019 by Charvi Gavde

Answered by NewsBytes

Firhad Hakim said elections during Ramzan will be a problem as many Muslims will be on fast.

When will elections be held in West Bengal?

Asked on 11-03-2019 by Navya Trivedi

Answered by NewsBytes

West Bengal will cast votes in all seven phases. 1st phase of polling will be held on 11th April, 2nd phase on 18th April, 3rd phase on 23rd April, 4th phase polling will be held on 29th April, 5th phase polling on 6th May, 6th phase polling on 12th May, 7th phase 12th May.

When will results of Lok Sabha elections be declared?

Asked on 11-03-2019 by Aaryan Chavan

Answered by NewsBytes

The results will be declared on May 23.

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