The Chief Election Commissioner Om Prakash Rawat announced the dates of the Karnataka Assembly Polls on Tuesday morning. But surprisingly, the BJP’s IT cell head Amit Malviya announced the dates on his Twitter handle at 11:08am, a good amount of time before the Election Commissioner did.
In his tweet, Malviya said that the elections would be held on May 12, and the counting would be held on May 18. He, however, got the date of the counting wrong.
This was not missed by mediapersons who had gathered for the briefing, and questioned Rawat regarding the same. It was not just Malviya, but Kananda TV channels too had flashed the dates.
In response, CEC Rawat said, “Certain things may have leaked for which Election Commission will take appropriate action. It will be investigated. Be assured that actions legally and administratively befitting will be taken,” he said.
CEC says will take action against leaked info on polling dates and results. Even before EC announced the dates , Cong and BJP leaders put it up on their social media accounts. All Kannada channels carried it too.— Nagarjun Dwarakanath (@nagarjund) March 27, 2018
Amit Malviya soon deleted his tweet after the EC’s announcement, when it was clear that he had got one of the dates wrong. Prior to this, Malviya was called out by many social media users.
He, however, blamed it on Times Now, who he claims, flashed it earlier. TNM was not able to independently verify this.
The Karnataka Congress social media in-charge Srivatsa also tweeted the same information that Malviya did at the very same time.
He later clarified that he only tweeted the dates after it was flashed by the media.
Many also questioned the authority of the Election Commission.
Later in the day, a delegation comprising Union Minister of Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, BJP spokesperson Anil Baluni and BJP Rajya Sabha MP Bhupendra Yadav met Election officials over the row.
Addressing the media, Naqvi said that they had clarified the issue with the EC.
"We made it clear to the Election Commission that the dignity, respect, independence and impartiality of the EC is important to us. There should be no sort of attack nor should there be any loss of dignity. The tweet that was put out by our IT cell head, it was clarified that this was tweeted based on the source of a television channel. It was not his aim to hurt the dignity of the election commission. A similar tweet also put out by a Congress leader at the same time," Naqvi said.
Malviya also submitted a letter to the EC, clarifying his stand on the issue.
The Karnataka Assembly Elections will be held on May 12, and the counting will be held on May 15. The Election Commission also clarified that the Model Code of Conduct, which kicked in once the dates was announced, would not interfere with the formation of the Cauvery Management Board.