Even as both Congress and BJP are engaged in a heated battle to ensure its victory in the Karnataka Assembly elections, the two parties are currently under the scanner of the Election Commission (EC) over poll date leak.
The Election Commissioner OP Rawat had announced the election dates during a press conference on Tuesday. The state of Karnataka is set to go to polls on May 12 and the counting of votes will take place on May 15.
However, the social media head of Congress in Karnataka Srivatsa YB and Amit Malviya, the in-charge of BJP's national information and technology tweeted the poll dates much before the EC made the announcement. They revealed the poll dates on Twitter at around the same time and made the same mistake with the date of the counting votes.
After a few politicians and journalists questioned the tweets, the EC ordered an inquiry into the incident.
BJP and Congress both said that their source was Times Now
Malviya had already told that he had taken the information from a ticker on Times Now.
"It was brought to my attention that my tweet on the likely dates of Karnataka election put out in the morning of March 27 posted at 11:08 am has raised certain apprehensions. I wish to clarify that the source of my information was based on a newsbreak put out by Times Now, a leading national TV channel at 1 1.06 am," Malviya clarified in a letter to the EC, reported India Today.
On Wednesday, when the EC questioned Srivatsa, he told the six-member inquiry panel that he had tweeted the poll dates based on the newsbreak by the National news channel.
"I hereby clarify that the source of my information was a newsbreak that I saw on Times Now TV Channel at L1.06 AM, which I then used to post my tweet," Srivatsa said in a letter to the EC.
Times Now rubbishes poll date leak allegations
Kannada news channel Suvarna News, which was also one of the few TV channels to break the news about the poll dates, said that they took the information from Times Now.
"The News you are referring about was first broken by the national news channel Times now. After a few minutes we took the same news,"
However, Times Now has refuted to the allegations of poll date leak.
"Times now news channel accessed the details from informed sources. Given that the information wasn't entirely accurate it is obvious it wasn't a leak," said Rahul Shivshankar, the Editor-in-chief, reported India Today.
Politicians not happy with polling dates
Meanwhile politicians are not happy with the polling dates as both the days are considered inauspicious in the state, reported News 18. They are worried as the date of counting falls on Amavasya, when the moon is not visible.
A few of them like HD Deve Gowda's son HD Revanna have reached out to fortune tellers tand are planning to perform special havans (fire ritual) on May 12 and May 15.