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Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | 'Puzzled' over EC's delay in action against ruling BJP for 'communal and casteist' remarks: Kharge

'...the lack of urgency shown by the Commission in taking action against blatantly communal and casteist statements being made by the leaders of the ruling party that vitiates the electoral process seems puzzling,' Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge stated.
hemin Joy
Last Updated : 11 May 2024, 12:38 IST
Last Updated : 11 May 2024, 12:38 IST

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New Delhi: A day after the Election Commission wrote an unprecedented letter claiming that people will hold the doubts raised by him with 'contempt', Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Saturday said it is 'puzzling' that the poll body is showing a 'lack of urgency' on acting on 'blatantly communal and casteist statements' made by leaders of the ruling BJP.

In a letter to the EC, Kharge said the EC on one hand insists that it respects citizens’ rights to ask questions and on the other hand “threatens in the form of an advice to exercise caution”. He said he was happy that the EC understands that it has the mandate to conduct smooth, free and fair elections under the Constitution.

“However, the lack of urgency shown by the Commission in taking action against blatantly communal and casteist statements being made by the leaders of the ruling party that vitiates the electoral process seems puzzling," he stated.

He said he was also puzzled by the EC’s need to write that it was “not legally bound” to publish any voter turnout data at aggregate level of a constituency or state, though he acknowledges this is a factual position.

However, he said he was sure that many voters would also like to see the absolute number of votes polled to be put out in the public domain by the Commission directly.

He also expressed disappointment at the EC in its response not acknowledging one line from his letter which said it should be their (I.N.D.I.A. bloc) collective endeavour to safeguard democracy and protect the independent functioning of the poll body.

“To make it more clear, the Congress party is on the side of the Commission and stands for the strength and independence of the Commission. The officials of the Commission should now decide where they stand,” he said.

He said he has “certain misgivings” about the language of the poll body’s letter but he would not press on that issue as he understands the “pressures they are working under”.

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Published 11 May 2024, 12:38 IST

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