The Election Commission of India (ECI) Friday issued a point by point rebuttal to Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge’s charges of glaring mismanagement and delay in release of voter turnout data in the ongoing 2024 Lok Sabha poll, and advised him to “exercise caution and refrain in making such statements”.

In a cryptic remark, the Commission said the Congress president’s letter, made public through social media platform X, was ‘unwarranted’ and ‘reflective of a biased and deliberate attempt to spread confusion on credibility of electoral steps’.

“A trend of irresponsible statements attacking or attempting to degrade the credibility of elections in terms of men and material by a national political party is disconcerting,” the ECI lamented.

On Congress Chief questioning the data, the Commission stated that the voter turnout numbers and figures were in the possession of the opposition party through its field functionaries and candidates with whom it was shared on the polling days itself. So far, voting for three of seven phases elections has got over.

Responding to ECI reply to Kharge’s charges, the Congress stated the ECI’s approach was “regrettable” on the delay in sharing voter turnout data.

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh posted on X that the ECI’s response to Kharge was “simply beyond description”.

“The EC is a Constitutional body entrusted with the responsibility of being an impartial body that ensures, and is seen to ensure, a level-playing field to all political parties,” the former Union Minister posted.