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Congress President Kharge writes again to EC amid voter turn out data row

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge has once again written to the Election Commission after the poll body refuted his claims around delay in voter turnout data, saying that such allegations could hurt voter participation and demoralise the election machinery across state.

Edited By: Shubham Bajpai New Delhi Published on: May 11, 2024 16:27 IST
Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge
Image Source : PTI Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge on Saturday said that he will again write to the Election Commission seeking the grounds of rejection of his earlier letter, which EC referred to as baseless allegation. Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge on Saturday again wrote to the Election Commission raising questions over its response to his earlier letter. 

In the letter, Kharge accused the poll body of deliberately neglecting the alleged communal and casteist statement delivered by the BJP. The letter read, “I am happy that the commission understands that it has a mandate to conduct smooth, free and fair elections under the constitution. However, the lack of concern shown by the Commission in taking action against blatantly communal and casteist statements being made by the leaders of the ruling party that vitiates the electoral process seems puzzling.”

Congress President reiterated demand of absolute votes polled data

Pressing again on the need for the publication of absolute number of votes polled, he said, “Many voters who are deeply interested in the elections would also like to see the absolute number of votes polled to be put out in the public domain by the Commission directly.”

“The Congress Party is on the side of the Commission and stands for the strength and independence of the Commission. The officials of the Commission should now decide where they stand, " the letter added.

What EC responded to his earlier letter?

Kharge’s letter comes a day after the Election Commission castigated him for his earlier letter raising the doubt over ECI’s functioning and the publication of actual voting data, delay in releasing turnout figures, and non-publication of final voters' lists.

The Election Commission referred to Kharge’s statement as baseless allegations and "aggression on vitals of live election operations." Regarding Congress chief’s accusations on release of Voter turnout data, the Election Commission said that such unfounded claims are designed to sow confusion, misdirection, and impediments in the conduct of free and fair elections.

It refuted the claims of delayed release of voter turnout data and stated that updated data consistently exceeded poll day statistics. To substantiate its stance, the commission released a factual matrix of data from past elections, dating back to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

ALSO READ | Baseless allegations regarding voter turnout data: EC raps Kharge for 'creating confusion'

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