EC bows to pressure, changes Dhaka polling day for Saraswati Puja

This is a moral victory for Hindus who opposed the discriminatory order

Dhaka (Bangladesh) – The polls are now to be held on 1st February instead of 30th January, as per the revised order of the Bangladesh Election Commission issued after an emergency meeting chaired by Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda at its headquarters in the capital Dhaka on 18th January.

Election Commissioners along with the returning officers for Dhaka North and South city corporations attended the emergency meeting. Just before KM Nurul Huda announced the new polling day, Education Minister Dipu Moni said the Government decided to defer the SSC and equivalent exams from 1st February to 3rd February.

After the Election commission on 22nd December 2019 announced the schedule fixing 30th January as the voting day, the announcement was met with opposition from the Puja Udjapon Parishad and the Hindu, Buddhist, Christian Unity Council as the voting day overlapped with the Puja, slated for 29th and 30th January in the Bangladesh calendar.

The Dhaka University Central Students’ Union or DUCSU had also urged the EC to shift the polling but the calls had gone unheeded. Lawyer Ashok Kumar Ghosh later moved the High Court seeking a stay on the elections but the Court had turned down the writ petition. Still, the opposition from Hindus continued. The Bangladesh Government ultimately had to bow to popular demand.