New Delhi, March 27 : The Election Commission on Tuesday formed a six-member panel to probe the leakage of poll dates for Karnataka assembly polls and submit a report within seven days.
“The Commission immediately directed that the matter be probed and necessary and effective action be taken. Accordingly, the Commission has constituted a committee of senior officers of the Election Commission to investigate the matter and give its report within seven days,” the EC said in a press release.
“The committee would also suggest steps needed to prevent any such eventuality in future,” it added.
Earlier in the day, BJP IT chief Amit Malviya and Karnataka Congress social media in-charge Srivatsa tweeted declaring the dates for election in Karnataka, though half incorrect, even before the EC announced the dates.
Both later clarified that their source of information was a television news channel that based its report the poll dates on a source.
Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, accompanied by fellow BJP leaders Bhupender Yadav and Anil Bulani and others, met the Election Commission to explain their position and how their IT chief Malviya went by the television channel as the source of his tweet.
Though the reports in tweets mentioned the polling date as May 12 and the counting date as May 18, the ECI declared the actual schedule of Karnataka assembly polls with voting date as May 12 but the counting date as May 15.
Among the probe panel’s five terms of reference, the EC wants it to “Enquire from the media regarding the source of information pertaining to schedule of General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Karnataka, 2018 before its official announcement and the manner in which it was obtained”.
The second term wants the committee to find out the source of information from Congress leader Srivatsa. However, the office order has no mention of BJP IT chief Amit Malviya as part of the probe.
Further, the ECI wants to know the source for a Kannada channel “allegedly owned by a @BJP4india MP tweeted by Poulomi Saha” and if there was any lapses at the EC. 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.