The Election Commission on Friday said the alleged leak of the Karnataka Assembly polls dates by television channels and political leaders was “mere speculation” and “avoidable”. The politicians and broadcasters had shared the dates even as Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat was announcing them at a press conference.

“The alleged leak was not a leak and was mere speculation,” Rawat said on Friday. “Presentation of news item by TV channels and tweets by political party leaders regarding the dates, just as the commission was making the announcement, was avoidable.”

On March 27, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s IT cell chief Amit Malviya, who had tweeted the dates and later deleted the post, had written to the Election Commission saying he had shared the dates on the basis of a Times Now report. On Friday, the Election Commission said this was why it had not sought any more information from Malviya.

The Election Commission has sent letters to the chief of the Congress’ social media cell, Srivatsa B, TimesNow and Suvarna News, seeking details of their source of information.