CEC Rajiv Kumar dares Opposition parties to provide proof of attempts to influence poll process

Kumar admitted that the Election Commission had failed to counter the mischievous narratives spread during the poll process.


Published Jun 03, 2024 | 4:16 PMUpdatedJun 03, 2024 | 4:16 PM

Election Commissioners during press conference. (X)

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar on Monday, 3 June, dared the Opposition to share evidence of allegations that returning officers and district magistrates were influenced to vitiate the poll process so the panel could take action against them.

The Opposition should also tell the Commission about those trying to influence the poll process before the counting of votes begins, Kumar said at a press conference. He was flanked by Election Commissioners Gyanesh Kumar and SS Sandhu.

“You cannot spread a rumour and bring everyone under a cloud of suspicion,” Kumar said.

Also Read: Very hopeful our results will be totally opposite to exit polls: Sonia Gandhi

Takes a dig at Opposition

The Commission had made preparations to deal with any foreign attempt to influence the poll process but these allegations have come from within the country itself, he said in an apparent dig at the Opposition.

Taking exception to allegations that district magistrates were being influenced, the CEC said, “Those levelling allegations should say which DM was influenced and we will punish them. They should tell us before the counting process begins.”

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh had claimed that Home Minister Amit Shah had been calling district magistrates and collectors and indulging in “blatant and brazen” intimidation.

District magistrates and collectors are the returning officers of their respective districts during the election.

Ramesh claimed that Shah had already spoken with 150 district magistrates or collectors.

Also Read: From Rae Bareli to Thiruvananthapuram, key contests to watch for

‘Issues are part of the election process’

Kumar had accepted all the demands made by the multi-party delegation that met the panel on Sunday and asserted that the issues raised by them were part of the election process going on for seven decades.

“Some demands were made by a multi-party delegation. We have agreed to all the demands,” Kumar said, indicating that most of the issues raised by the multi-party delegation were part of election manuals.

“This process has been going on for 70 years… We have instructed every RO/ARO. These are our orders and they are no joke… Everyone has been instructed to follow the handbook/manuals,” Kumar said.

Kumar admitted that the Election Commission had failed to counter the mischievous narratives spread during the poll process.

(Disclaimer: The headline, subheads, and intro of this report along with the photos may have been reworked by South First. The rest of the content is from a syndicated feed, and has been edited for style.)