Journalist Bodies Urge Election Commission for Press Conferences After Each Voting Phase

National Desk, 12th May: Prominent journalist bodies, including the Press Club of India, Indian Women Press Corp, Press Association, Foreign Correspondent Club, and the Delhi Union of Journalists, have collectively called upon the Election Commission to conduct press conferences after every voting phase during elections.

In a letter addressed to the Chief Election Commissioner, these journalist organizations expressed disappointment at the Election Commission’s failure to hold press conferences following the completion of voting in three phases nationwide. They highlighted that conducting press conferences after each voting phase was a common practice until the 2019 general election.

Emphasizing the importance of these press conferences in providing accurate and timely information to the public, especially during crucial democratic exercises like elections, the letter stated, “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 journalist bodies underscored that press conferences enabled journalists to clarify doubts and confusions, facilitating accurate reporting to their readers. Moreover, they stressed that direct communication from Election Commissioners during these conferences was crucial for reaching out to voters and maintaining transparency.

Expressing concern over the lack of disclosure of the “absolute number of votes polled” in the last three phases, the letter raised apprehensions among the public regarding the fairness of the election process. The journalist bodies urged greater transparency, demanding that the Election Commission hold press conferences after each voting phase and release comprehensive poll data, including absolute vote counts and final voting percentages, by the following day.

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