Elections

EC Slams Congress Kharge Over Letter Doubting Poll Turnout: 'Deliberate Attempt To Spread Confusion'

Doubting the Election Commission of India (ECI)’s functioning, and criticising the panel for the delay in releasing poll turnout data of Lok Sabha elections 2024 so far and the non-publication of the final voters’ lists for the upcoming phases, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge had written a letter to leaders of all INDIA bloc parties.

X/@ECISVEEP | @kharge
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge had written a letter to INDIA bloc partners expressing doubts over poll turnout data released by the EC Photo: X/@ECISVEEP | @kharge
info_icon

Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge's letter to opposition leaders on voter turnout data is an attempt to push a biased narrative, the Election Commission said on Friday. The commission condemned Kharge's statement in which he wondered whether the delay in releasing voter turnout data was an "attempt to doctor the final results".

Doubting the Election Commission of India (ECI)’s functioning, and criticising the panel for the delay in releasing poll turnout data of Lok Sabha elections 2024 so far and the non-publication of the final voters’ lists for the upcoming phases, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge had written a letter to leaders of all INDIA bloc parties.

Kharge had called upon all INDIA parties to “collectively, unitedly and unequivocally” raise their voice against such “discrepancies” in a bid to protect the culture of a “vibrant democracy and the Constitution”.

Reacting to Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge's letter to INDIA bloc partners doubting voter turnout data, the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Friday said "pattern in series of past, present irresponsible statements from Congress were disconcerting".

In a five-page response with annexures, the poll panel rejected charges of mismanagement and delay in the release of voter turnout data and termed Kharge's allegations "unwarranted", "without facts" and "reflective of a biased and deliberate attempt to spread confusion".

The poll panel said it found Kharge's letter, placed in the public domain in the middle of the ongoing electoral process, "highly undesirable" and designed to create confusion, misdirection and impediment to the conduct of smooth, free and fair elections.

"Through innuendos and insinuations, the contents of the post, tend to create disharmony in respect of the delicate space of election management, can plant doubts in the minds of voters and political parties and potentially created an anarchic situation," the EC said referring to Kharge's "could this be an attempt to doctor the final results?" remark in the letter.

Congress Responds To EC

Responding to the Election Commission, the Congress on Friday termed "regrettable" its "approach" to addressing the issues raised by party chief Mallikarjun Kharge in his letter to the leaders of the opposition parties on the delay in sharing voter turnout data.

In a statement on X, AICC general secretary Jairam Ramesh said the Congress president had raised "perfectly legitimate" issues on which there have been widespread concern and comments.

"The approach of the Election Commission to addressing these issues is deeply regrettable," said Ramesh, who is in-charge of the Communications Department of the AICC.

Ramesh said the commission's response to Kharge was "simply beyond description".

"The EC is a Constitutional body entrusted with the responsibility of being an impartial body that ensures, and is seen to ensure, a level-playing field to all political parties," he said.

"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 said.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement