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Karnataka poll date leak: Surjewala slams EC over ‘clean chit’ to Amit Malviya

SNS | New Delhi |

Congress is crying foul after Election Commission of India ordered an inquiry into Karnataka Congress social media head Srivatsa B’s poll date tweet, while giving a clean chit to BJP IT-cell head Amit Malviya.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala in a series of tweets questioned EC’s integrity, saying, “Intriguing events on “Date Leak” & BJP’s role appear on @ECI_India website. 1st EC gives a clean chit to BJP National IT head by keeping him out of purview of enquiry, yet uploads another ‘Press Note’ explaining BJP’s version! Now, who is putting EC’s credibility at stake?”

“Yesterday, Union Min, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi went to @ECI_India with BJP IT Head’s explanation. Surprising that @ECI_India exonerates BJP IT Head, who initiated ‘Date Leak’ & constitutes an inquiry thereafter,” said Surjewala in a tweet.

Also read | Karnataka poll date leak: Amit Malviya ‘absolved’, Congress to be questioned

Earlier on Tuesday, Surjewala had slammed BJP and called the party a “Super Election Commission” after a controversy erupted following Amit Malviya’s tweet that gave out Karnataka election dates before the Election Commission of India announced them.

The Congress leader said in a tweet, “BJP becomes the ‘Super Election Commission’ as they announce poll dates for Karnataka even before the EC”, adding that the “Credibility of EC is on test”.

EC’s order

According to EC’s office order, Srivatsa B, who heads the Congress party’s social media cell in Karnataka will be questioned. However, the office order has no mention of BJP IT Cell chief Amit Malviya as part of the probe.

As per media reports, the EC has said that it doesn’t need to question Malviya, since he wrote to the poll body explaining the source of his tweet and the letter would be taken as his response.

The order has asked a six-member body constituted to inquire into the alleged leaking of information pertaining to schedule of 2018 Karnataka Assembly election before its official announcement.

Further, the ECI wants to know the source of a Kannada channel “allegedly owned by a @BJP4india MP tweeted by Poulomi Saha” and if there was any lapses . The committee will also recommend how to prevent any chances of such eventuality in future.

The EC informed that the committee, which was immediately set up, has already sought information from the media organisations and individuals concerned.

On Tuesday, Malviya got embroiled in a controversy after he reportedly revealed the polling and counting dates for Karnataka Assembly elections even before the Election Commission.

However, the counting date posted by Malviya turned out to be incorrect.

Malviya had tweeted May 12 and May 18 as the dates for polling and counting, respectively. The official dates as declared by the EC later are May 12 and May 15.

Both, Amit Malviya and Srivatsa B, on Tuesday clarified that their source of information was a television news channel that based its report the poll dates on a source.