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Political parties unhappy with Bihar poll schedule
September 03, 2005 21:18 IST
Last Updated: September 03, 2005 22:28 IST
Several political parties, including Congress and Communist Party of India, have sought reconsideration of the Bihar poll schedule announced by the Election Commission on Saturday saying the first two phases clashed with the month of Ramzan and Dussehra.
Nationalist Congress Party general secretary Tariq Anwar expressed "displeasure" over the poll dates and said the elections should be "held in two phases only, that is November 13 and 19".
"In this (Ramzan) month, Muslims observe fast and it will be very difficult for them to take part in the hectic electioneering", Anwar said.
In the same vein, the CPI central secretariat said, "Two of the dates are in October when the Muslims will be observing Ramzan and Hindus will have Dussehra and Navratra religious functions" and added polls should be held throughout the state on two days in November.
Asserting that his party was "battle ready", Rashtriya Janata Dal president Lalu Prasad Yadav, however, said it would have been better if due consideration was given to the holy month of Ramazan before announcing the poll dates.
Congress general secretary Ambika Soni also expressed reservations over the schedule stretching over a month-long period and said it would affect administrative decisions as also the development process.
The political parties would also find it difficult to sustain the campaign and candidates would have to make lot of expenditure, Soni said adding, Ramzan and other religious functions should also have been considered.
Bharatiya Janata Party general secretary Arun Jaitley said the four-phase poll would cause "fatigue", but it would be good if it could lead to effective movement of security force personnel and their deployment at every booth.
Senior Janata Dal-U leader and National Democratic Alliance's chief ministerial candidate Nitish Kumar termed the schedule as "appropriate" and said "even though it will require a lot of energy, we welcome the dates announced by the EC".