The Election Commission (EC) has ruled out the possibility of changing the dates of by-polls from the Dwarka and Okhla Assembly constituencies in the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi which are scheduled on September 10 and 15 respectively.
Reacting to a request in this regard made by Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president J.P. Agarwal to the Commission, a senior official told The Hindu that the dates were fixed after taking various factors into account including the statutory time limit required for notification, filing of nomination and campaigning. Moreover the model code of code of conduct had already come into force and it would have adverse effect on the administration if the period was further stretched. The model code normally applicable to the district or districts where the Assembly seat going to the by-poll is located.
On re-fixing the date of counting for the Dwarka seat, the official pointed out that the Commission had already announced that the counting in the two constituencies would be taken up on September 17 afternoon instead of September 14 for the Dwarka seat as announced earlier.
He pointed out that there was also a request from an organisation for postponing the Delhi by-polls, particularly in Okhla, where there is huge a Muslim population, in view of Ramzan season. However the Commission had expressed its helplessness. There is a gap of at least a week between the festival and the poll dates. "If such requests are allowed then there could be demands for not holding polls during navaratra season etc.," he said.