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EC releases data of five phases polling, says 'Nobody can change data of votes polled'

After a strife over the delay in the release of poll data, the Election Commission of India released a comprehensive data of absolute number of votes polled in five phases.

Edited By: Shubham Bajpai New Delhi Updated on: May 25, 2024 17:18 IST
Voters in queue at poling station
Image Source : PTI Voters in queue at poling station

The Election Commission of India on Saturday released the absolute number of votes polled in the five concluded phases and said that nobody can change the data of votes polled in the concluded phases. 

ECI emphasised that its release of poll turnout data since the commencement of Lok Sabha elections on April 19, has been accurate, consistent and in accordance with election laws and without any discrepancy.

Process and usage of Form 17C 

The poll body, in its release, mentioned the process, recording and release of turnout data and the manner of custody and usages of form 17C which lies with the agent of all the candidates at each polling station. ECI shed light on the process and usage of form 17C emphasising that with it presence no data can be changed. The process around form 17C

  • After the candidates in the fray are finalised, a list of electors is passed on to them.
  • The agent of candidates at all 543 parliamentary consituencies and 10.5 lakh polling stations have form 17C.
  • The total number of votes polled in a constituency, as recorded in Form 17C, can never be changed even by anyone’s hypothetical mischief, as it is available with all contesting candidates.
  • Agents of candidates are always allowed to accompany EVM and statutory papers, including form 17 C from polling station till storage in a strong room.
  • The candidate or his agents bring the copy of the form 17C to the counting centre and compare it with the result in each round. 

While releasing the detailed turnout data, the poll body cited Supreme Court observations and said, “Supreme Court made observations against petitioners in the case of the release of voter turnout data by the ECI. Commission on its own released Parliamentary Constituency wise absolute number of voters for all completed phases, which otherwise was discernable by all stakeholders themselves by applying the turnout percentage to total electors, both already made available in the public domain.”

Poll turnout data was always available: EC

Addressing the questions regarding the delay in release of data, the ECI asserted that the polling data was always available. The ECI said, “The Commission underlines that there has been no delay in the release of voter turnout data. In parliamentary constituency-wise Voter turnout data was always available with candidates and also 24x7 on the Voter Turnout APP for citizens at large.”

The ECI also took strong exception to the allegations made against it and said it notes that there is a pattern in creating false narratives and mischievous designs to vitiate the electoral process.

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