Cong, INDIA bloc trying to undermine electoral process, alleges BJP; urges EC to take action

New Delhi, 2 Jun: The Congress and its INDIA bloc allies are trying to undermine the integrity of India’s electoral process, the BJP alleged on Sunday and urged the Election Commission to prevent any attempts of “violence and unrest” during the counting of votes for the Lok Sabha polls on June 4.
A BJP delegation comprising Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Piyush Goyal also urged the poll panel to take cognisance of the “systematic attempts” being made to undermine the electoral process and initiate stringent action against those responsible.
The delegation submitted a memorandum to the Election Commission (EC) in this regard.
“We had to call upon the Election Commission today in light of the repeated attempts by a section of political parties, like the Congress and their INDI alliance partners, and also by certain motivated civil society groups and NGOs who are trying their level best to undermine the integrity of India’s electoral process,” Goyal told reporters after meeting EC officials.
Their efforts against India’s “very robust” electoral process are a direct attack on the country’s democratic institutions and pose a risk to public order and trust in the electoral system, he said.
The BJP delegation urged the EC to ensure enhanced monitoring and security measures are put in place during the counting of votes to prevent “any attempts at violence or unrest”.
Earlier in the day, a delegation of opposition INDIA bloc leaders, including Congress’ Abhishek Singhvi, met the EC and urged it to ensure that all the guidelines, including declaring the postal-ballot results before the outcome of the EVMs is announced, are followed on June 4.
Union minister Goyal said, “I think the mandate given by the people of India both in 2014 and 2019 and the likely mandate of the 2024 general elections expected on June 4 has unnerved the opposition parties and certain non-governmental organisations, so-called civil society groups, who cannot accept a popular leader of the masses who has delivered for the well-being of 1.4 billion Indians.”
Exit polls on Saturday predicted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will retain power for a third straight term, with the BJP-led NDA expected to win a big majority in the Lok Sabha polls.
Terming the exit polls “bogus”, the Congress on Sunday said they were a “deliberate attempt to justify rigging” of the elections and part of “psychological games” being played by Prime Minister Modi to lower the morale of the INDIA bloc workers. Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi dubbed the exit polls as “Modi media poll”.
Goyal said the BJP delegation urged the EC to ensure that every official engaged in the counting process is fully conversant with the “minutest details” of the exercise and engages diligently with all protocols of counting so that there can be no deviation whatsoever.
The delegation also urged the poll panel “to ensure safety and security of the electoral process during the counting and announcement of results, including enhanced monitoring and security measures to prevent any attempts at violence or unrest”, he said.
Goyal said the BJP delegation asked the EC to take cognisance of the “systematic attempts” being made to undermine the electoral process and take stringent action against those responsible.
“We also urged the EC to issue a public statement affirming the integrity of the electoral process and warning against any attempts to disrupt the democratic process,” he added.
Goyal lashed out at Gandhi for terming the exit polls “Modi media poll” and said the Congress leader has passed “very uncharitable comments about the media”.
“I strongly condemn the effort to put pressure on the media, the effort to try and paint the media black and to undermine the work that the media is doing,” he told reporters.
Those who are not able to accept Prime Minister Modi’s leadership and his government’s work in the last 10 years are continuously coming out with a toolkit to undermine India’s institutions, be it the Supreme Court, various regulatory bodies or the EC, he said.
“The toolkit has now come out with a Delhi resolution of May 28, we don’t know who are the parties and the people behind this Delhi resolution, there are no signatories, no names but certain political parties tend to now support such an effort to undermine India’s democracy,” he charged.
“This is a regular sinister attempt carried out by certain bodies in the guise of civil societies who are very often fronting for the opposition,” Goyal said adding, “The BJP and the NDA strongly condemn such efforts by the opposition parties and certain civil society groups.”
The senior BJP leader said Indians are “extremely proud” that for 30 years now the country has had an unblemished track record in which elections are held in a free and fair manner.
The world today looks up to India’s electoral system as one of the most robust, transparent and high-integrity election systems, he said.
“We strongly condemn the Congress and the toolkit and their associates who are working against India’s interest and are damaging India’s credibility and India’s rich tradition of democracy across the world. We are proud of our electoral process,” Goyal said. (PTI)