Monday, June 24, 2024

EC response to Mallikarjun Kharge letter on voter turnout data regrettable: Congress

NEW DELHI, MAY 10: The Congress on Friday termed as “regrettable” the Election Commission’s “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.
The Election Commission took strong exception to Kharge’s letter and termed it as an attempt to “push a biased narrative” under the guise of seeking clarifications.
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.
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said the Election Commission is not beyond criticism.
“When RBI, C&AG, Finance Commission and other bodies can be criticised, why does ECI think it should not be criticised?” he said.
The former Finance Minister called for a discussion in Parliament on the omissions and commissions of the Election Commission and said all the political parties will share their experiences of contesting the elections under the current poll authority.
“Even TN Seshan was criticised. Why should the present 3-member take offence?” Chidambaram asked.
The Congress leader said Kharge had raised valid points in his letter and the Commission could have refuted the same.
“…but why take exception to the letter?” Chidambaram wondered. (PTI)