Election Commission urged to conduct press conference on election day

In a joint letter, the Press Club of India, Indian Women Press Corp, Press Association, Foreign Correspondent Club and the Delhi Union of Journalists express dismay at the Election Commission not holding a single press conference even after the completion of voting in three phases across the country.

Updated - May 12, 2024 12:16 pm IST

Published - May 12, 2024 02:02 am IST - NEW DELHI

The Election Commission of India office in New Delhi. File

The Election Commission of India office in New Delhi. File | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Journalist bodies have written to the Chief Election Commissioner demanding that press conference be held after voting in each phase and that the entire poll data, including “absolute number” of votes polled in each phase and percentage of voting be released by next day.

In the joint letter, the Press Club of India, Indian Women Press Corp, Press Association, Foreign Correspondent Club and the Delhi Union of Journalists have expressed dismay at the Election Commission (EC) not holding a single press conference even after the completion of voting in three phases across the country.

“Till 2019, the last general election, holding a press conference after voting in each phase was the normal practice. India, being one of the largest democracies in the world and the general election considered as the ‘biggest festival of democracy’, the citizens have every right to know what has happened on the voting day from the constitutional body, the Election Commission of India,” the letter said.

Stating that at press conferences the journalists got their doubts and confusions, if any, cleared which helped them write error-free copy for their readers, it said they kept the citizens accurately informed and updated on the ongoing election. “The Election Commissioners can also speak directly to voters via electronic media during a press conference,” the letter said.

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Expressing shock and surprise that the EC had not been releasing the “absolute number of votes polled” in the last three phases, the letter said this was not the case in the past elections. The developments had led to apprehension in the minds of people about the fairness of the election, it said.

“In this context, we demand that the EC hold a press conference after every phase of voting. Further, we demand that the entire poll data, including absolute number of votes polled and final percentage of voting be released by the next day of the polling. Such transparency is necessary to uphold the voters’ confidence in the election in the electoral system,” the letter said.

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