Poll date leak: EC panel examines responses

The committee set up by the Election Commission to probe leaking of poll date in Karnataka met on Wednesday and examined responses from BJP IT cell chief, Amit Malviya, state Congress social media in-charge Srivatsa and two TV channels.

The EC constituted the panel on Tuesday after Malviya made public the poll date for Karnataka about 15 minutes before Chief Election Commissioner formally announced the dates in a press meet. The polling for the Assembly elections is scheduled for May 12 and the votes would be counted on May 15. It was later found that Srivatsa, who introduces himself as “Karnataka Congress social media in-charge” on Twitter, also posted the date of poll. Some TV channels also aired the date of poll before the EC formally announced it. They all however got the date of counting of votes wrong. Malviya wrote to the EC on Tuesday that he had posted the dates of polling and counting only after learning it from news flash by a national TV channel. Srivatsa too claimed that he had tweeted after watching the news on the national TV channel. The Editor-in-Chief of the national TV channel on Wednesday wrote to the EC that it had “accessed the details from informed sources”. “Given that the information wasnt entirely accurate it is obvious it wasnt a leak,” he wrote in response to a query by the EC.

The head (news and programme) of a Kannada TV channel responded to the ECs query stating it aired the poll date after it was flashed by the national TV channel. He also wrote to the EC that another Kannada TV channel aired the poll date before his channel did so. “We do not have any source whatsoever inside Election Commission of India who could leak us the information before the press meet.”

The six-member panel decided to further examine the responses received and take further action in this regard, according to a press release issued by the poll panel.

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