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India created world record with 64.2 crore voters: CEC

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New Delhi, June 3: India created a world record with 64.2 crore voters, including 31.2 crore women, participating in the Lok Sabha elections this year, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar said on Monday.
Addressing a press briefing, he said over 68,000 monitoring teams and 1.5 crore polling and security personnel were involved in the world’s largest electoral exercise. “India created a world record with 64.2 crore voters, including 31.2 crore women, participating in the Lok Sabha elections this year,” said Kumar. On social media memes calling election commissioners ‘Laapataa Gentlemen’, Kumar said, “We were always here, never went missing.” “Only 39 repolls took place in the 2024 general elections as against 540 repolls in 2019,” he said.
The CEC further said that Jammu and Kashmir recorded its highest turnout in four decades at 58.58 per cent overall and 51.05 per cent in the Valley.
“Seizures of Rs 10,000 crore, including cash, freebies, drugs and liquor, were made during the 2024 polls as compared to Rs 3,500 crore in 2019,” he said.
We were never out, always here: CEC on ‘laapata gentlemen’ memes
Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar on Monday referred to various memes doing rounds on social media, describing the Election Commission as ‘laapata gentlemen’, asserting that he and fellow commissioners Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Sing Sandhu were “never out” and were “always here”. Social media users had targeted the Commission for allegedly being absent amid the model code violations by top leaders during campaign for the Lok Sabha elections. The memes were based on a recent drama titled ‘Laapata Ladies’.
Addressing a press conference here on the eve of the counting of votes on Tuesday, Kumar said in a lighter vein that now people will see memes on the social media with a tag line that ‘laapata gentlemen’ are back. “We were never out, we were always here. We chose to interact with you through our press notes. This was the first time we issued close to a 100 press notes and advisories all put together,” he said.
CEC Kumar, flanked by the two Election Commissioners, said the poll authority has been interacting from behind the scene and on Monday they decided to hold a press meet. He said that questions were raised on flaws in the electoral rolls, on the efficacy of the EVMs and the alleged fudging of voter turnout figures.
Reading out a couplet, the CEC said while people talk of flowers, no one remembers the gardener. He also said while “haar-jeet” (victory or defeat) are part of a democracy, no one talks of you (the polling and security personnel) who ensured flawless polls in summer heat. (PTI)

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