NEW DELHI: The Laity Council of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India has urged the Election Commission not to hold assembly elections due in four states, including Kerala, and one union territory in the holy week for Christians beginning March 28.
The term of the legislative assemblies of West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Kerala and Puducherry is coming to an end on different dates in May and June, and polls are likely to take place in April.
The holy week which is observed by Christians across the world begins this year on March 28 with Palm Sunday and goes through Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday on April 4, Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) secretary V C Sebastian said in a press release.
He said that he has given a memorandum to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora urging him "to spare the Holy Week of the Christians for the forthcoming general election and its proceedings in various states in India, including Kerala." The "ideal date" would be after April 15, Sebastian said.
In various states, Christian institutions were utilised in the past as polling stations, he said in the statement.
"In certain states like Tamil Nadu, parts of Christian churches have been used as polling stations in rural areas. A lot of Christian faithful are assigned election duties," Sebastian said.
The last Karnataka assembly polls were held at such a time that observance of the holy week became difficult, he claimed.