New Delhi: The Election Commission (EC) sought factual information from Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Sunday on his claim that Home Minister Amit Shah has called up 150 district magistrates and collectors ahead of the June 4 counting of votes for the Lok Sabha polls. In a letter to Ramesh, the poll panel has asked him to share details regarding his claim by 7 pm on Sunday.

The EC has referred to his post on X on June 1, in which the Congress general secretary had alleged that “the outgoing Home Minister has been calling up DMs/Collectors. So far, he has spoken to 150 of them. This is blatant and brazen intimidation, showing how desperate the BJP is….”

The process of counting votes is a sacred duty cast upon every returning officer and such public statements “tend to put an element of doubt and thus, deserves to be addressed in larger public interest”, the EC has told Ramesh.

It has also told the Congress leader that when the Model Code of Conduct is in force, all officers are under the deemed deputation of the commission and they report directly to the poll watchdog for any directions.

“However, no DM has reported any such undue influence as alleged by you…,” the EC’s letter to Ramesh has stated.

“It is requested that details of 150 DMs to whom such calls have been allegedly made by the Home Minister along with the factual matrix/basis of your information are shared by 7 pm today — June 2, 2024, so that appropriate action can be taken,” it has told the Congress leader.

It has said that being a responsible, experienced and very senior leader of a national party, Ramesh must have made such a public statement ahead of the counting day on the basis of facts or information he believes to be true.