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“Entire counting process is absolutely robust, works similar to precision of clock”: CEC Rajiv Kumar

Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar (Photo: ANI)

Amid the opposition parties raising concerns over the counting process of the votes, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar on Monday said that the entire counting mechanism is robust and the whole process is codified in a certain manner that no error can be found in the whole procedure.

“Entire counting process is absolutely robust. We don’t think anywhere there is a robust system like it. Every part is decided. The whole process is codified. Micro observers are in place. There cannot be any mistake in this process. Lakhs of people including counting officials, counting agents, micro-observers, ROs/AROs, Observers present during the world’s largest counting exercise. Before the elections, EVMs were randomised. All candidates and agents were present to observe that who were present at the booth,” CEC Rajiv Kumar said at a press conference.

Earlier, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh through a post on his social media handle alleged that calls have been made by Union Home Minister Amit Shah to 150 District Magistrates just days before the scheduled counting of votes (June 4). ECI sought factual information and details from Congress General Secretary.

CEC Rajiv Kumar said that counting process of the postal ballots will start before the counting of Electronic voting machines.

“Section 54 A of RPA Act was introduced in 1954. At that time, there were not much people for postal ballots. On all centres, counting of postal ballots will start first. After only half an hour, EVM counting will start first. It happened in 2019, it happened in all 2022 Assembly elections, it happened yesterday also in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim,” CEC said.

A delegation of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) bloc leaders met with the Election Commission of India to discuss issues related to the counting of votes. In their meeting with the poll body, the INDIA bloc said that ECI should issue clear, detailed guidelines for the counting process on June 4.

After meeting with ECI, Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, “The vital importance of counting postal ballots first, and declaring the results of postal ballots first. This is very clearly stated in the statutory rule. This has been understood by the Election Commission over the years. Our complaint is that this statutory rule of this 2019 guideline has been given goodbye.”

Other demands, as stated by INDIA bloc, were clarification on counting postal ballots first as per Conduct of Election Rules 1961, ensuring CCTV-monitored safe movement of Control Units, verify date/time on Control Units and confirm voting start/end times, specify slips, tags, and details for counting agents; Display poll date, candidates, and total votes before candidate-wise results and avoid rushing; allow agents to record results before proceeding. Strengthen transparency and faith in the electoral process.

CEC Kumar also said that process of Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir will begin soon.

“We are very enthused. It is one of the most satisfying moments for us here in the commission. We will start that process soon,” he said.

“We failed to understand the fake narratives that were going on during the elections. But we have understood it now,” EC said.

Election Commission members along with CEC Rajiv Kumar gave a standing ovation to all voters who took part in the Lok Sabha elections.

“We have created a world record of 642 million voters. This is the historic moment for all of us. This is 1.5 times the voters of all G7 countries and 2.5 times voters of 27 countries in the European Union (EU). We thank each and every one who took part in this festival of democracy. The Indian elections are indeed a miracle. Having no parallel in the world,” Rajiv Kumar said.

CEC further said that 312 million women voters cast their vote in General Elections 2024, which is 1.25 times the women voters of 27 EU countries in their last national election. Reflects the ECI commitment to inclusive elections.

The women voters’ figures 1.25 times greater than the voters of 27 countries in the EU.

“The contribution of voters aged 85 and above is inspiring for our younger generation; they are the heroes of our democracy. They have witnessed India before independence and have shaped this country with their contributions over the past 70 years,” CEC Kumar said.

CEC Kumar said that, due to the meticulous work of the election personnel, we ensured fewer repolls.

“Due to the meticulous work of the election personnel we ensured fewer repolls – we saw 39 repolls in Lok Sabha polls 2024 as opposed to 540 in 2019 and 25 out of 39 repolls were in 2 States only,” he stated.

The Elections Commission extended special thanks to the people of Jammu and Kashmir for their faith in the electoral process.

“Voter turnout in the state is the highest in the last 4 decades,” he said.

He further said that the largest-ever global delegation of 75 observers from 23 countries was thrilled by India’s Electoral Marvel, which showcased unparalleled scale, meticulous planning, and integrity in the conduct of elections.

“4Ms: Identified, Confronted, and Tackled Muscle, Money, Misinformation and MCC Violations – impediments to free, fair, and transparent elections were addressed and responded to,” he said.

Rajiv Kumar said that in the Lok Sabha elections, the poll body has not seen the violence.

“This is one of the General Elections where we have not seen violence. This required two years of preparation,” he said.

“Election Commission made a record seizure record of almost Rs 10,000 crores during this election. This is nearly 3 times the value seized in 2019…Local teams were empowered to do their work,” CEC Rajiv Kumar said.

The Chief Election Commissioner gave details about the counting process to be followed to declare the results of Lok Sabha elections on June 4, he said, “The entire counting process is absolutely robust. It works similar to the precision of a clock.”

The press conference was addressed by Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar along with ECs Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu.

The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance is poised for a hat-trick win in Lok Sabha polls with a massive majority, exit polls predicted on Saturday and indicated that the ruling party at the Centre would improve its performance in several states ruled by other parties.

The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance is poised for a hat-trick win in Lok Sabha polls with a massive majority, exit polls predicted on Saturday and indicated that the ruling party at the Centre would improve its performance in several states ruled by other parties.A few exit polls predicted that the BJP-led NDA could reach the goal of “400 paar” stated by BJP leaders in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls.

Lok Sabha elections were held in seven phases from April 19 with Prime Minister Narendra Modi steering the BJP campaign. Votes will be counted on June 4.