I.N.D.I.A Bloc Meets EC Over Voting Data ‘Discrepancies’, ‘Inaction’ On Complaints Against Modi


Amid growing concerns voiced by several opposition parties regarding alleged discrepancies in voter turnout data and violations of the model code of conduct (MCC) by BJP leaders during the ongoing Lok Sabha polls, the leaders from the I.N.D.I.A bloc convened with the Election Commission’s top officials on Friday. The leaders of several opposition parties received a letter from Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge on Tuesday regarding alleged “discrepancies” in the ECI’s released voting data. Later, It was decided by the opposition leaders to take the matter up with the ECI.

“The main issues are: There cannot/should not be an 11-day delay in publishing voter percentage, but what is more worrying is the increase in voter percentage. If we compare it with the 2019 elections, then such a rise was not seen in these figures. If the figures are published soon, then speculations will not arise. We had made this complaint a long time ago, but unfortunately, the Election Commission has uploaded its reply just a little while before our meeting today,” Congress leader and senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi said.

“We had filed 11 complaints against PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, but no action has been taken on them. So we need a quick answer on this,” he further remarked.

In response to Kharge’s letter to the leaders of the other I.N.D.I.A bloc, which was also posted on X, the ECI on Friday denied his claims that it had postponed the announcement of the final voter turnout figures for the first two phases of the Lok Sabha elections.

The Election Commission stated in a strongly worded letter that remarks made by the president of a national political party are a direct attack on the legitimacy of the electoral procedures and that this could have a detrimental effect on voter turnout.

ALSO READ: Lok Sabha Elections: ECI Denounces Congress President Kharge’s Allegations As ‘Attempts To Hinder Free & Fair Polls’

Jairam Ramesh Defends Kharge’s Stance

Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh defended Kharge’s stance by writing on his X, “The response of the Election Commission of India (ECI) to the issues raised by the Congress president in his letter to the I.N.D.I.A bloc is simply beyond description. The ECI is a Constitutional body entrusted with the responsibility of being an impartial body that ensures and is seen to ensure, a level playing field for all political parties.”

“Both the content and intent of the letter will be a permanent blot on the reputation of an institution that can boast of luminaries like Sukumar Sen, TN Seshan, JM Lyngdoh, and others,” Ramesh further wrote.

He underscored that the Congress president had raised “perfectly legitimate issues” on which there have been extensive concerns and comments, stating that it is “deeply regrettable” how the Election Commission is handling these problems.

Amidst the allegations of opposition, the poll body had declared that booth-wise data of the “actual number of votes polled” is available to the candidates soon after the voting ends.

The ECI also stated in a statement released last week that it places “due importance” on the timely release of voter turnout data following each poll phase and that it is required by law for candidates to have access to booth-wise data, which breaks down the actual number of votes cast, in addition to constituency-level data.

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