Image Source : PTI Congress leader Jairam Ramesh

The Election Commission of India on Monday refused to provide an additional time of one week to Congress leader Jairam Ramesh to back his claims around Amit Shah’s alleged calls to influence 150 district magistrates.

In a letter to Ramesh, the EC said, “The Commission hereby outrightly rejects your request for time extension and directs you to file your response along with the factual matrix/ basis of your allegation by 7 PM today — June 3, failing which it would be presumed that you have nothing substantive to say in the matter and the Commission would proceed ahead to take appropriate action”.

The poll body has also said that the allegations have serious connotations and direct bearing on the sanctity of the counting process, which is scheduled on Tuesday, as the said number of District Magistrates are returning officers and district elections officers.  

The EC also stated that no DM has reported any such undue influence as alleged by him.

What Jairam Ramesh said?

Earlier, Ramesh took to social media and alleged that attempts were made to influence 150 DMs and Collectors across the country ahead of the June 4 vote count for Lok Sabha elections.

Subsequently, the poll body asked Jairam Ramesh to furnish factual details backing his claims by Sunday evening.

EC in a letter mentioned, “The process of counting of votes is a sacred duty cast upon every RO (Returning Officer) and such public statements by a senior, responsible and experienced leader tend to put an element of doubt and thus, deserves to be addressed in the larger public interest. Although no DM has reported any undue influence, EC had sought details and information from Jairam Ramesh of 150 DMs to whom Amit Shah has influenced, as alleged by Ramesh and which he believes to be true, and had thus made these allegations.”

In response to this, Ramesh wrote to the poll body on Monday seeking a week more to submit his reply.

(With PTI Inputs)

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