New Delhi: The Election Commission on Friday said the outing of Karnataka Assembly dates by some political party leaders and TV channels, even as the Chief Election Commissioner was making the announcement, was "mere speculation" and "avoidable".
"Alleged leak wasn't a leak and was mere speculation. Presentation of news item by TV channels and tweets by political party leaders regarding the dates, just as Commission was making the announcement, was avoidable," said Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) O P Rawat.
BJP's social media head Amit Malviya, even before the EC made the dates public, had tweeted that Karnataka Assembly polls would be held on May 12 and counting for the same will take place on May 18. While Malviya was correct about the date of polling, he got the counting date wrong, which later turned out be May 15.
In his defence, Malviya had attributed a news channel as his source of information.
In his press conference to announce the poll schedule, Rawat had described the leak as a "very serious" issue that merited a probe and "stringent action".
Soon after, the EC ordered a probe into the circumstances that led to leaking of dates for polling and result of the Karnataka Assembly elections.