“Can create anarchic situations”: poll panel with M. Kharge on voter turnout data.


“Can create anarchic situations”: poll panel with M. Kharge on voter turnout data.

RK Talent Show 2024

In response to Mallikarjun Kharge’s letter to INDIA allies alleging discrepancies in voter turnout data and claiming that the credibility of the Election Commission of India is at “an all-time low,” the poll panel accused the Congress president of making baseless allegations to “create confusion, misdirection, and impediments in the conduct of free and fair polls.”

In a severely worded and unexpected reaction released on Friday, the Election Commission stated that Mr Kharge’s letter was in the form of internal correspondence inside a political organization, yet he had made it public – referring to the Congress president’s post on X. Condemning his inquiry, “Could this be an attempt to doctor the final results?” the panel stated that it may lead to anarchy, distrust, and conflict.

Addressing the claims made by Mr Kharge, who is also the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, point by point, the EC branded them “insinuations and innuendos” and a “aggression on vitals of live election operations”.

On the key claims in Mr Kharge’s letter – that voter turnout increased by around 5.5% in the first phase and about 5.74% in the second phase, and that the date was pushed back – the EC denied any delay and pointed out that updated turnout data has always been higher than what was released on polling day. The commission backed up this assertion by presenting a “factual matrix” of electoral data dating back to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

“The claim that voter turnout data was provided late is false because it has always been available on the Voter Turnout APP. The commission has made no changes to the design or frequency with which voter turnout data is shown. Needless to say, polling station-specific data on electors and voters is sent to the candidate’s agent at the end of the poll,” the EC noted.

Regarding the Congress president’s other charge that some media reports claimed that the final registered voters list for the next phases had not been made public, the panel stated that he would know, “as a senior parliamentarian, a very seasoned politician… and as the head of a prominent National Political Party,” that the EC follows a transparent process of preparing electoral rolls.

This, it claimed, is strengthened by the involvement of political parties and candidates at every level of the process, ensuring that parties are aware of the number of electors at all stages of the electoral cycle.

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