INDIA bloc flags postal ballot count; Opposition undermining poll process, says BJP

A delegation of INDIA bloc parties urged the ECI that the postal votes be counted first and their results announced before those of the EVMs.
Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi (L) and BJP leader Piyush Goyal speak with the media after meeting Election Commissioners at Nirvachan Sadan, in New Delhi, Sunday, June 2, 2024.
Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi (L) and BJP leader Piyush Goyal speak with the media after meeting Election Commissioners at Nirvachan Sadan, in New Delhi, Sunday, June 2, 2024.Photo | PTI

NEW DELHI: Ahead of the counting of votes on June 4, a delegation of the Opposition INDIA bloc approached the Election Commission and objected to the poll body changing the rule about counting postal ballots. The leaders demanded that the postal votes be counted first and their results announced before those of the EVMs.

After the meeting, Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, “There is a clearly stated statutory rule, which specifically says that you should take up the postal ballots first.”

According to the existing rule 54-A, if the counting of the postal ballots is not completed, the result of the counting through EVMs cannot be declared, he said, adding the postal ballots can swing the results.

CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury said they have urged the poll panel to ensure that its own guidelines are implemented, which includes ensuring that the control units of the EVMs are moved through CCTV-monitored corridors and verification of the current date-and-time display of the control units is done.

“This verification is important because unless it is done, there is no authenticity that it is the same control unit that came from the polling booth,” he said.

“The slips and tags that are put when an EVM is sealed should be shown to all the counting agents for verification. After pressing the button for the results, reconfirming the date of poll is not done. That has to be ensured,” he said.

The BJP alleged on Sunday that INDIA allies are trying to undermine the integrity of electoral process and urged the EC to prevent any attempts of “violence and unrest” during the counting.

A BJP delegation comprising Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Piyush Goyal also urged the EC to initiate stringent action against those making “systematic attempts” to undermine the poll process.

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