In a move that underscores the delicate balance between politics and faith, the Konyak Union (KU) has penned a formal letter to the Election Commission of India (ECI), appealing for a change in the result counting date for the 43 Tapi Assembly Constituency by-elections.
Scheduled for December 3, the by-election has ignited concerns within the Konyak community due to the chosen date of counting falling on a Sunday, a day of profound religious significance for the Mon district in Nagaland, where over 95% of the population practices Christianity.
Tingthok Konyak, the President of KU, along with Assistant General Secretary N Chingnyem Konyak, submitted the letter on behalf of the Konyak community, expressing deep apprehensions about the potential disruption of the peaceful observance of Sunday. Konyak Union emphasized the importance of respecting the sentiments and religious practices of the people, highlighting that Sunday traditionally serves as a day of worship and spiritual reflection, central to the lives of the Christian community in the region.
In their formal appeal, KU underscored the need to ensure uninterrupted observance of Sunday. The Konyak Union’s concerns extend to the unpredictability of election result counting days, often accompanied by tension and the potential for incidents of violence. They worry that scheduling the counting on a Sunday may exacerbate such situations, with some interpreting it as a provocation, potentially causing unnecessary disturbances in an otherwise peaceful district.
The KU, therefore, has requested the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Nagaland to relay their concerns to the Election Commission of India (ECI) and advocate for a change in the result counting date. Their plea is for the ECI to reschedule the counting to a more suitable day that respects the religious practices and sentiments of the people.
Konyak Union also stated that this change in the schedule would not only respect the values and beliefs of the majority of the district’s population but also contribute to a more peaceful and harmonious election process. It expressed hope that the Election Commission of India will take the necessary steps to address this matter, recognizing the delicate balance between governance and religious observance in the region.
Nagaland Congress and Naga People’s Front had earlier appealed for the date change. Meanwhile, in Mizoram, churches, civil society groups and political parties have also been appealing to change the date of counting of votes for the forthcoming elections to the 40-member Mizoram assembly. It may be mentioned that both Mizoram and Nagaland are Christian-dominated states and consider Sunday as a ‘solemn day’.