The Election Commission shifted the single-phase Punjab assembly election date to February 20 from February 14, in view of requests received from several political parties and the state government to defer polling by a few days in view of Guru Ravidas Jayanti on February 16.
As per the new schedule, January 25 will be the date for poll notification, February 1last date of filing nominations, February 2 date of scrutiny of nominations, February 2 last date for withdrawal, and February 20 date of poll. The counting date remains unchanged on March 10. The deferment is being seen as a concession in view of the sentiments of the Ravidasiya community .
Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi, BSP and subsequently BJP, Shiromani Akali Dal and Punjab Lok Congress had approached the EC seeking postponement of the February 14 polling date in Punjab, citing the expected movement of many electors who are Guru Ravidas’s followers and travel from Punjab to Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh during the week coinciding with Gurupurab.