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Congress-ally Indian Union Muslim League protests voting dates in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, says elections on ‘Jummah’ inconveniences Muslims

A prominent Muslim organisation in Kerala, Samastha Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulama, also expressed concerns that Friday polls would pose challenges for voters and officials on duty and could affect voter turnout.

According to the election schedule for Lok Sabha 2024, voting will take place in Tamil Nadu on April 19th and in Kerala on April 26th. Incidentally, both voting dates fall on Fridays. Shortly after the announcement, the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), along with other Muslim groups in Kerala, objected to these dates, citing Jummah on Fridays. They have appealed to the poll body to postpone voting scheduled for Fridays, stating that Muslims hold large congregations to offer Jummah Namaz on that day.

On Sunday (17th March), the IUML, an ally of Congress, said that it would approach the ECI asking the poll body to change the dates of elections in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. According to the IUML, voting on Fridays will cause inconvenience to voters, officials, and candidates as it is an important day for Muslims.

Speaking with PTI, IUML’s state general secretary PMA Salam said, “Friday is Jummah, a day when Muslims gather in mosques. It would be difficult to vote on this day in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. We have brought this to the attention of the Election Commission.”

Apart from IUML, a few other Muslim organisations are also reportedly planning to approach ECI seeking a change in the voting dates in the state. A prominent Muslim organisation in Kerala, Samastha Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulama, also expressed concerns that Friday polls would pose challenges for voters and officials on duty and could affect voter turnout.

In a statement, the Muslim organisation said, “Jumu’ah is a worship that must be performed by the entire population of a region.” 

The president of the organisation, Syed Muhammad Jifri Muthukkoya, and the General Secretary, K Alikutty Musaliyar, have written to the Central Election Commission, urging the poll body to postpone the voting scheduled for April 26th (Friday).

Earlier, on 16th March, the Election Commission of India announced the polling dates for the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections. The polling will be done in seven phases starting from 16th April 2024. The last phase will be held on 1st June 2024, and the counting will be done on 4th June 2024. The complete list of state-wise polling dates for constituencies in a phase-wise manner can be accessed by clicking here.

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