Source: 
TNIE
https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2024/May/16/mahua-moitra-to-ec-heres-voter-turnout-data-for-my-constituency-whyre-you-not-able-to-give-this
Author: 
Online Desk
Date: 
16.05.2024
City: 

The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has knocked at the doors of the Supreme Court seeking to direct the Commission to publish the absolute numbers of votes polled immediately.

The delay in disclosing voter turnout data by the Election Commission of India (ECI) has forced the Opposition to cast aspersions on the effectiveness of the poll monitoring body in the world's largest democracy.

This comes amid a "lack of urgency" shown by the ECI in taking action against "blatantly communal and casteist" statements made by BJP leaders, as alleged by the Opposition, leading to questions being raised over the integrity of the constitutional body.

Amid arguments and counter-arguments between the Opposition and the Commission, the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has knocked at the doors of the Supreme Court, seeking to direct the Commission to publish the absolute numbers of votes polled immediately. The top court will hear ADR's plea on May 17.

Against this backdrop, TMC leader and Lok Sabha candidate for Bengal's Krishnanagar constituency, Mahua Moitra, took to the platform X with a message drawing attention of the Commission over how she was able to compile the number of voters in her constituency within 24 hours of polling.

The message read: "Attention @ECISVEEP - here is data for my constituency with number of voters compiled within 24 hrs of polling. Why are you not able to give this for 4 phases?"

Sam Pitroda responded to the post saying, "This is what every candidate must do."

In its application before the SC, ADR said that the plea was filed to "ensure that the democratic process is not subverted by electoral irregularities."

“The voter turn-out data for the first two phases of the ongoing 2024 Lok Sabha elections published by ECI on April 30 has been published after 11 days of the first phase of polling held on April 19 and 4 days after the second phase of polling held on April 26," it pointed out.

The Election Commission defended itself, saying that there is always a time lag in reporting estimated data on poll day.

It pointed out that "political parties know the constituency-wise number of electors at every stage of the electoral cycle as they are intimately involved in the preparation of electoral roll."

The poll body further said that the number of electors by polling station, "aggregated to constituency level, is available with every candidate and political party.”

"There is no scope at all for any deviation with the number of votes polled as recorded in Form 17C, a signed copy of which is made available to all contesting candidates on close of poll," the poll regulator added.

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