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

    The Hawk
    June3/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    At a press conference with Election Commissioners Gyanesh Kumar and S S Sandhu, Kumar emphasized the need for transparency and accountability, urging the Opposition to disclose any attempts to influence the election before the vote counting begins.

    Chief Election Commissioner of India Rajiv Kumar

    New Delhi: Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar on Monday 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 S S Sandhu.

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

    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.

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    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 election.

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

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    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.