New Delhi: BJP's Amit Malviya will not be questioned or investigated over the alleged leak of Karnataka election dates that was announced by the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Tuesday, the poll panel document has revealed.
Amit Malviya and a Congress activist in Karnataka, both tweeted the May 12 polling date before the Election Commission announced it. But only the Congress activist, Srivatsa B - he heads the party's social media cell in Karnataka - will be questioned, according to the Election Commission's order setting up an inquiry into the alleged leak.
The Election Commission says that is because the BJP has already explained.
The order asks a six-member committee to "enquire form Srivatsa B...regarding the source of information of his tweets" on the Karnataka election schedule before its official announcement.
Name of BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya does not figure in EC inquiry order on how Karnataka election dates were leaked. EC order below has absolved him even before any probe & EC so-called inquiry is merely a joke : pic.twitter.com/caqCZz8kXG— Nagendar Sharma (@sharmanagendar) March 28, 2018
Malviya's name is not even in the order, which has spurred critics to call the inquiry a "joke".
AICC convenor Priyanka Chaturvedi tweeted: "Dear EC, while we welcome any investigation to ensure that your credibility is not undermined however find it extremely shocking that IT head of BJP has been absolved even before enquiry begins. This definitely dents your own image and authority."
While we welcome any investigation to ensure that your credibility is not undermined however find it extremely shocking that IT head of BJP has been absolved even before enquiry begins. This definitely dents your own image and authority.
Indian Citizen— Priyanka Chaturvedi (@priyankac19) March 28, 2018
The Election Commission, however, says it doesn't need to question Malviya at all, since he wrote to the poll body explaining the source of his tweet and the letter would be taken as his response. The top election body also said a BJP delegation had come and met its commissioners on Tuesday evening with Malviya's letter. "The delegation submitted all facts to the EC," an official was reported as saying.
Amit Malviya had deleted his tweet within moments, which had the date of counting wrong (May 18 instead of May 15).
Amid an uproar, Malviya wrote to the Election Commission and said he had based his tweet on television news channel. "I firmly believe in the exclusive constitutional domain of the Election Commission to conduct free and fair elections in the country, and also in the confidentiality and secrecy mandated upon it in the process of doing so," he wrote.
Congress leaders said their party worker's tweet was also based on a news flash by a local media channel.
Karnataka will vote on May 12 and the counting and announcement of results will be held on May 15.