EC seeks ‘detailed info’ from Jairam Ramesh over his remark that Amit Shah phoned 150 DMs post-voting

In a letter to the Congress leader, EC also sought the factual basis of his “information” about the calls and the details of his public statement through a post on his social media handle.
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh during a press conference at AICC headquarters in New Delhi, Sunday, June 2, 2024.
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh during a press conference at AICC headquarters in New Delhi, Sunday, June 2, 2024.Photo | PTI

NEW DELHI: After Congress leader Jairam Ramesh alleged that home minister Amit Shah had called up 150 district magistrates across the country after voting for the Lok Sabha polls was completed, the Election Commission of India (EC) on Sunday asked him to furnish details of the officials.

In a letter to the Congress leader, the poll panel has also sought the factual basis of his “information” about the calls and the details of his public statement through a post on his social media handle.

The letter also clarified that during the period of enforcement of the Model Code of Conduct, all officers are under the deemed deputation of the EC and report directly to it for any directions.

“However, no district magistrate has reported any such undue influence as alleged by you,” the EC said.

The poll body said that the process of counting votes is a sacred duty cast upon every returning officer and such public statements by a senior leader tend to put an element of doubt in the minds of the public.

“You, being a responsible, experienced and very senior leader of a national party, must have made such a public statement, just before the day of counting, based on facts or information you believe to be true. It is requested that the details of 150 district magistrates to whom such calls have been allegedly made by the home minister, along with the factual matrix or basis of your information, are shared by 7 pm on June 2, 2024, so that appropriate action can be taken,” EC said in the letter.

However, sources in the EC said the poll panel is yet to receive a reply from the senior Congress leader.

Ramesh had, in a post on X on Saturday, claimed that “the outgoing home minister has been calling up district magistrates and collectors and had spoken to 150 district magistrates thus far.”

“This is blatant and brazen intimidation, showing how desperate the BJP is. Let it be very clear: the will of the people shall prevail, and on June 4, Mr Modi, Mr Shah, and the BJP will exit, and the INDIA Janbandhan will be victorious. Officers should not get under any pressure and must uphold the Constitution. They are under watch,” he added.

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