The Congress on Wednesday accused the Election Commission of “exonerating” Bharatiya Janata Party’s Amit Malviya even before investigating the leak of the Karnataka election schedule. On Tuesday, the election panel had named people it would question over the leak – while a Congress leader was on the list, Malviya was not, even though both had tweeted the election schedule before the official announcement.
Malviya, the chief of the BJP’s Information Technology Cell, had deleted the tweet and claimed he had only shared what a news channel had been reporting. He later wrote to the Election Commission, claiming that Karnataka Congress’ social media head Srivatsa B had “also used the same source to get the same information exactly when I did”.
Later on Tuesday, the Election Commission set up a six-member panel of officers to investigate the matter. The order said that the committee would speak to Srivatsa and the media outlets that were involved. The panel has seven days to submit its report on how the leak took place.
In response, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said this was “strange indeed” and asked why the Election Commission would not interrogate Malviya. Aam Aadmi Party spokesperson Nagender Sharma said the “so-called inquiry” was “merely a joke”.
The Election Commission said this was because the BJP leader had already explained the source of his tweet, which he had deleted soon after, NDTV reported. An unidentified official said the BJP delegation had met election commissioners with a letter from Malviya had submitted all the facts in the case.
The Karnataka Assembly elections will be held on May 12, and the results will be declared on May 15. Malviya and some sections of the media got the polling date correct but the date of the results wrong.