Congress urges ECI to probe 'terrible mismanagement' of Lok Sabha polls in Kerala

03:42 PM Apr 28, 2024 | PTI |

Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress in Kerala on Sunday alleged “terrible mismanagement” of the Lok Sabha polls held in the state on April 26 and urged the Election Commission of India (ECI) to initiate a comprehensive inquiry into it.


In a letter to the ECI, Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly V D Satheesan alleged that the elections in Kerala were “grossly mismanaged,” resulting in significant delays in many booths.

The Congress leader said that the interval between subsequent votes in many booths saw undue delays, with many voters apparently waiting up to four-and-a-half hours for their turn.

“Many voters returned after standing in line for hours at numerous booths in the blazing heat. Furthermore, some of the voters were unable to vote despite arriving at the polling booth before 6 PM,” he said.

Satheesan alleged that “grave negligence” on the part of officials was evident in many booths.


“Undoubtedly, the lacklustre attitude of the officials has been a major cause of the drop in voter turnout. Unlike other elections, the EVM malfunction was also profound,” he said.

The LoP said the polling hours were not extended in booths where voting machines were found to be faulty, and the election arrangements have never been so bad in recent times.

“The voters’ list sanitisation process in Kerala was also not meticulously done, as the latest voters list has numerous double votes and obsolete votes. Hence, I request your good self to initiate a comprehensive inquiry into the terrible mismanagement of the Lok Sabha election held in Kerala on April 26, 2024,” he said in the letter.

His statement came a day after the Chief Electoral Officer said the Lok Sabha election process and voting in the state were completely satisfactory at all levels, with voting machines performing better than in previous years.

Chief Electoral Officer Sanjay Kaul had said that in 95 per cent of the 25,231 polling booths, voting was completed by 6 PM, and by 8 PM in 99 per cent of booths.

“Only in some booths in the Vadakara constituency did voting continue later. This was due to a higher turnout after 5 PM, requiring officials to verify records and ensure accuracy, which naturally took more time,” he had said in a statement.

All voters who arrived at the booths by 6 PM were given tokens to vote, indicating the vigilance of the officials, the officer said.

Despite the heightened political fervour and anticipation surrounding the general elections for the 20 Lok Sabha seats in Kerala, the process concluded on April 26 with a notable decrease in voter turnout, which now stands at 71.16 per cent.

This figure marks a significant decline from the 77.84 per cent recorded during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.


Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.