The Election Commission on Sunday rejected a plea to start polling at 5 am instead of 7 am because of the heat wave and the onset of the Ramzan, PTI reported. In a six-page order, the poll panel said that it had set the voting timing after taking several factors including weather conditions into consideration.

The poll panel’s order was based on a plea submitted in the Supreme Court by advocate Mohammed Nizamuddin Pasha. On May 2, the Supreme Court had directed the Election Commission of India to decide on Pasha’s petition.

The Election Commission said it had factored in pre-poll activities including the mock poll, which is held one hour before voting starts. “In several places, polling goes on late into the night for those who have reached the polling station at the hour fixed for close of poll,” the order said. “Therefore, starting the poll at 5 am, as proposed by you, would mean that the polling parties would be required to work in polling stations for not less than 18-20 hours, which will not only affect the quality of work but also will not be humanely possible for the officials,” the order said.

The religious month of Ramzan, which Muslims observe by fasting, begins on Monday. Three more phases of General Elections are left during the month – one on Monday, followed by May 12 and May 19.