Published On: Tue, Mar 27th, 2018

BJP IT head declares Karnataka poll date ahead of EC

New Delhi: The ruling BJP’s Information Technology (IT) cell head Amit Malviya on Tuesday left the Election Commission scouring for cover as he announced the Karnataka Assembly polling date even before the poll panel.

He refused to specify was kind of action the poll body could take

Questioned about the “leak” of poll dates, Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat first dismissed the poll date announced by Malviya as “conjectures” but later said the Commission would investigate the matter and take appropriate action.

“These are conjectures. You cannot stop conjectures. Let me announce the dates and see if they are the same… But if something is leaked, the EC would conduct an inquiry,” Rawat said.

However, as he announced the dates at a press conference here, it turned out that the date of polling – May 12 – was the same as tweeted by Malviya. However, the date of vote count was different.

At this, Rawat told one of his Deputy Election Commissioners, Umesh Sinha: “Umesh, please find out what happened.”

Rawat then told the media: “Please rest assured that legally and administratively befitting action will be taken after investigation.”

He refused to specify was kind of action the poll body could take. “Let the facts come out. You can’t put cart before the horse,” he said.

It was only around 7.45 am on Tuesday that the Election Commission informed the media about the 11 am press conference. The invitation did not specify that it was regarding Karnataka.

The press briefing began a few minutes past 11 am and Rawat first dwelt on topics like poll preparedness, facilities for the voters, new initiatives, VVPATs and others for around 15 minutes before he came to the dates.

At 11.08 am, Malviya tweeted the poll date. As it caused embarrassment, he later deleted the tweet.

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