Shocking. EC Probe Order Into Karnataka Poll-Date Fiasco Has No Mention Of Malviya
In a glaring omission that raises eyebrows, the order into the investigation does not carry Malviya's name in the 'term of reference' at all
During Tuesday’s press conference Chief Election Commissioner O.P. Rawat was informed by journalists that purported dates for the Karnataka Assembly Elections were already put out by some TV channels and the BJP IT cell head Amit Malviya. Rawat assured journalists that “certain things may have leaked for which the EC will take appropriate action” after an investigation into the matter.
However, in a glaring omission that raises eyebrows, the order into the investigation does not carry Malviya’s name in the ‘term of reference’ at all. His name is totally absent in this order on the EC’s website as if the incident never happened at all.
Priyanka Chaturvedi, the National Convenor for Communication and the National Spokesperson for the Congress told NewsCentral24x7 that it is “shocking that the terms of reference of the enquiry ordered by EC omit the name of BJP’s National IT Convenor, Amit Malviya who went public on Twitter with the dates of the elections before the EC.”
Chaturvedi added that while the party respects the EC and wants it to maintain its “credibility and authority, this is a serious cause for concern and raises more questions than answering it. We would hope that EC upholds the authority vested in it without any favour or fear,” she added.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala questioned whether the EC had “exonerated” the BJP “even before constituting an inquiry”.
Has @ECI_India exonerated the ‘Date Leak’ BJP even before constituting the inquiry?
Post ‘Data Leak’, a ‘Date Leak’ infringing upon the neutrality of EC, yet no questions being asked.
Question is – Why no question from BJP IT Head? pic.twitter.com/Ep0by0ecuf
— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) March 28, 2018
Here is the relevant section in the EC’s order from last evening:
Those to be questioned as part of the ‘term of reference’ include ‘the media’, Srivatsa B (Karnataka Congress social media in-charge) and a ‘Kannada channel owned by a @BJP4India MP’.
Yesterday, before the EC could announce dates for the Karnataka polls, an English news channel, several Kannada channels and political party supporters had put out purported dates on social media.
The matter also raised serious doubts over the credibility of the Election Commission, with CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury echoing the concerns of many when he tweeted that the “institution and the sanctity of India’s democratic processes is at stake. Nothing less than exemplary punishment for the BJP would help restore public faith,” he added.
The credibility of the Election Commission of India as an institution and the sanctity of India’s democratic processes is at stake. Nothing less than exemplary punishment for the BJP would help restore public faith. pic.twitter.com/yrIvd7vmkY
— Sitaram Yechury (@SitaramYechury) March 27, 2018
This is another in now a long line of actions by the EC which can be termed questionable. In October 2017, the election watchdog received criticism from Opposition parties after delaying the announcement for the poll dates in Gujarat. In both 2007 and 2012, the EC had announced polling dates for Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh on the same day, something that didn’t happen the last time around.