The Election Commission of India has come under fire after the BJP’s social media head accurately announced the poll date for Karnataka assembly elections even before the official announcement.
Amit Malviya had announced on Twitter that Karnataka will vote on 12 May. He had not attributed his information to any media outlets.
Minutes later, Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat announced the exact date in his press conference. Rawat, however, said that counting will not take place on 18th May as informed by Malviya, but on 15 May. Rawat also said that strict action will be taken against Malviya after due investigation.
Tuesday’s development has further cast a shadow on the poll panel’s neutrality. There have already been allegations that the India’s electoral processes were being continuously rigged by the current BJP dispensation in India. The Congress was quick to attack the EC calling the BJP the new ‘Super Election Commission.’ The party’s chief spokesperson, Randeep S Surjewala, said, “BJP becomes the ‘Super Election Commission’ as they announce poll dates for Karnataka even before the EC. Credibility of EC is on test. Will EC now issue notice to BJP President, Amit Shah & register an FIR against BJP IT Head for leaking EC’s confidential information?”
BJP becomes the ‘Super Election Commission’ as they announce poll dates for Karnataka even before the EC.
Credibility of EC is on test.
Will EC now issue notice to BJP President, Amit Shah & register an FIR against BJP IT Head for leaking EC’s confidential information? pic.twitter.com/i3vU2iJpjH
— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) March 27, 2018
The topic also dominated the social media conversations with journalists and experts expressing similar sentiments against the EC. Many concluded that what happened on Tuesday will reinforce the doubts that the EC was no longer a neutral constitutional body.
Did the @BJP4India IT cell actually announce the Election Dates in Karnataka even before the Election Commission did? Why the hell don’t they also announce the results? Before voting.
— SUHEL SETH (@suhelseth) March 27, 2018
BJP declares Times Now “culprit” for revealing confidential information of Election Commission.
— ASHUTOSH MISHRA (@ashu3page) March 27, 2018
Why have you deleted your original tweet announcing the election date before the EC? That tweet was not sourced to any channel. Screenshots are everywhere though https://t.co/8rc7XIaBqw
— Nidhi Razdan (@Nidhi) March 27, 2018
Did EC read out wrong dates ? Am sure Mr. Malviya being bjp office bearer would have had right dates. Seems EC goofed up..
— arun giri (@arungiri) March 27, 2018
Amit Malviya please let us know the dates of Lok Sabha 2019 Elections also coz we know you have more information & resources than Election Commission of India. @malviyamit #KarnatakaElections2018 pic.twitter.com/bdPzaatXTM
— BATOLEBAZI (@BATOLEBAZI) March 27, 2018
Is Amit Malviya the real chief election commissioner of India? This can only help strengthen rumours that the bjp has rigged the electoral process https://t.co/AikxePi7ip
— Shivam Vij (@DilliDurAst) March 27, 2018
कर्नाटक चुनाव के डेट चुनाव आयोग से जारी होने से होने पहले बीजेपी के आईटी सेल हेड ने जारी किये। आयोग ने कहा जांच करवाएंगे
— Narendra nath mishra (@iamnarendranath) March 27, 2018
The Election Commission of India has announced the poll dates for the upcoming Karnataka assembly polls. Speaking to reporters, Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat said that the polls will be conducted in single phase on 12 May.
Date of notification will be 17 April 2018 with the last date of nomination being 24 April. The counting will take place on 15 May.