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Onus on EC to dispel doubts over EVMs: Congress

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New Delhi, May 4 : With the Election Commission (EC) convening an all-party meeting on May 12 over allegations of tampering of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), the Congress on Thursday said the onus lies on the EC to remove these doubts in order to uphold the sanctity of the electoral process.

“The role of the EC is to uphold the majesty of the democratic process. The role of Election Commission is not adversarial. Election Commission is not hostile to a political party or group. The sole responsibility and onus on the EC is to uphold the majesty, transparency and accountability of the democratic process,” said Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala.

Stressing that the Congress party has faith in the neutrality of the EC, Surjewala said: “Election Commission cannot and does not side with one or the other political party or dispensation.”

“Many experts and specialists have come forward to point out deficiencies and defects in the existing mechanism of the EVMs, I am certain that EC will give them full opportunity. If there are any defects found, we expect the EC to correct the EVMs,” he added.

Surjewala further said: “If no defects are found, at least doubts will be removed.”

“Even if one person in our democracy raises a doubt or a finger or questions the independence of the electoral process, the onus lies on the EC to remove those doubts for the sanctity of the electoral process. We are certain that that onerous responsibility will be fulfilled by the EC,” he added.

Election

Gujarat election: EC orders repolling in 6 booths of 2nd phase on December 17

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Election
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New Delhi, 16 December: Election Commission on Saturday (16th December) announced repolling in 6 polling stations of Gujarat on Sunday. The polling stations include Vadgam, Viramgam, Daskroi, and Savli.

The Election Commission also informed that the counting of votes of 10 polling stations would be done through counting of slips in VVPAT. As the Presiding officers in 10 polling stations in Visnagar, Becharaji, Modasa, Vejalpur, Vatva, Jamalpur-Khadia, Savli & Sankheda didn’t clear from the Control units the votes cast during mock poll.

In the second phase of Gujarat election two of the booths where repolling will be conducted fall under the Vadgam seat where polling was suspended after ink marks were found on the election symbol of Independent candidate Jignesh Mevani on the EVM and a BJP candidate raised an objection.

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Punjab municipal polls on Sunday, all arrangements made

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Chandigarh, Dec 16: Punjab’s State Election Commission has made all arrangements for the smooth conduct of municipal polls on Sunday.

The ruling Congress, main opposition Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP alliance are contesting the polls December 17.

It would be the first big electoral outing for all three after the assembly elections in March.

“The process of voting to elect representatives to three municipal corporations and 29 municipal councils and Nagar Panchayats would begin on Sunday at 8 a.m. and end at 4 p.m.,” a spokesman of the State Election Commission said on Saturday.

The results will be declared on Sunday evening.

Polling would be held for the municipal corporations of Amritsar, Jalandhar and Patiala.

The election for the municipal corporation of Punjab’s largest city, Ludhiana, was not being held as the electoral rolls were not updated.

Polling would also be held for 327 wards of the 29 Municipal Councils and Nagar Panchayats.

Candidates in 90 wards have won unopposed, the spokesman said.

There would be a total of 873 polling stations in the state, having 1,938 polling booths. A total of 8,000 election staff and 15,500 police personnel would perform duties at these polling stations.

The Akali Dal-BJP and AAP have accused the ruling Congress of misusing its power in the run-up to the municipal polls.

A total of 413 candidates are in the fray in 85 wards of Amritsar where 769,153 voters will exercise their franchise.

In Jalandhar, 305 candidates are in the fray from 80 wards. The number of voters there is 560,261. In Patiala, election will be held in 57 wards in which 260,664 voters can exercise their franchise.

This is the first big election in the state after the Congress government, led by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, came to power after assembly poll results in March.

The Congress won 77 out of 117 seats in the assembly. The AAP finished second with 20 seats.

IANS

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Looking into Congress complaint against PM: EC

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Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha
Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha

New Delhi : The Election Commission on Thursday said it is looking into the Congress’ complaint of violation of the Model Code of Conduct by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad, and also clarified that it has not filed an FIR against Congress President-elect Rahul Gandhi.

The Congress has accused the Prime Minister of breaking the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) by taking out a ‘road show’ after casting his vote on Thursday.

“We have received this complaint in the afternoon, this is being examined and we will let you know,” Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha said in response to a question.

After coming out of the polling booth at Ranip, in Ahmedabad, the Prime Minister stood on the steps of the vehicle in which he was travelling and waved to the crowd on the road and showed his inked finger. He continued to do so for 10 to 15 minutes.

Sinha also clarified that the poll panel did not register any FIR against Rahul Gandhi for his TV interviews, and has only sent him a notice, seeking his response in five days.

“I would like to inform that yesterday morning a complaint had come about the interview being shown repeatedly on some channels. Due diligence was done. First of all no FIR has been filed against Rahul Gandhi,” Sinha said.

He said other complaints made by the Congress are also being examined.

He said the poll panel gave representatives of the Congress party time for a meeting, and heard the allegations that they had to make.

“Till about midnight, the Commission deliberated and even in the thick of elections, we immediately sought a report from the Chief Electoral Officer,” he said.

Sinha said the Chief Electoral Officer of Gujarat sent a report by around mid-day on Thursday on “all points and allegations made by the delegation of Congress”.

“Based on that the matter is under examination. Commission will soon brief on that,” he said.

“Commission has to put in due diligence before taking a decision. The report had been received at mid-day, the entire Election Commission has been busy. The Commission is still doing deliberation on the report received from the Chief Electoral Officer. We will let you know as the Commission takes a decision on it,” he said.

IANS

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