Lok Sabha elections: EC’s response to Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge’s letter ‘permanent blot’ on institution | India News

NEW DELHI: The Congress termed the EC’s response to Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge‘s letter as a “permanent blot” on the face of a body, which is there to “ensure a level-playing field to all political parties”.
Demanding transparency and promptitude” from EC, an INDIA bloc delegation on Friday met the ECI and raised concerns over publication with extreme delay of the voter turnout percentages for the first two phases, and inaction on complaints of model code violations by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah during the ongoing polls.
The delegation that met EC included Congress leaders Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Salman Khurshid, TMC’s Derek O’Brien, DMK’s TR Baalu, CPI’s Binoy Viswan, Samajwadi Party’s Javed Ali and JMM’s Mahua Majhi among others.
The meeting with ECI came after Kharge in a letter on Wednesday wrote opposition parties underlining the “inordinate” delay in the release of final voter turnout of first two phases and a jump of around 5.5% over the initial projection. In an unusual move, the EC on Friday responded to Kharge’s letter to fellow INDIA bloc leaders that was also posted on X, and rejected his allegations.
Congress general secretary, Jairam Ramesh said, “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.” “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,” he said adding that the approach of ECI to addressing these issues is “deeply regrettable”.
Addressing the media after the INDIA bloc leaders met the EC, Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that they raised two key issues, “Issue number one was one of great trust deficit and a feeling of alarm and distress that 11 complaints by Congress alone, and more that 15 complaints by all parties put together against the Prime Minister and Home Minister, starting from early April, have not been addressed.”
Singhvi said that “if they (EC) don’t act promptly, it will be a complete abdication of Constitutional duty.” He also hinted that the opposition parties may approach the Supreme Court with the issue. “It is no joy for us to go to the Supreme Court and get directions saying why don’t you decide. We are distressed and there is no satisfactory answer why these people are not touched,” he said.
Singhvi said they also raised the issue of “non-publication or publication with extreme delay of the voter turnout percentages.” The delegation raised three points – the difference of voter percentage increase is 5.74% or 5.5%. The comparable figure in the 2019 election in the first three phases was 2%, 1%, 2.5%, this time it is double.
The INDIA bloc has demanded that since the “stamp of approval of a published absolute figure and a percentage figure by the EC carries its own constitutional weight” that should be provided.


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