Battle for Karnataka on Twitter: EC questions Congress over poll date leak
30 March, 2018, 00:48 | Author: Bert Pena
However, as he announced the dates, it turned out that the date of polling - May 12 - was the same as tweeted by Malviya. He further said Facebook will remain it's social media partner for the Karnataka Assembly poll. "People should also take elections seriously and come out to cast their votes so that the candidates take infrastructure issues on priority".
The EC's announcement of Karnataka Assembly poll dates on Tuesday was shadowed by a controversy with Malviya tweeting the voting and counting dates even before Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) O P Rawat, who was then addressing a press conference in the national capital, could declare them. In his four years as Congress vice president, his leadership skills were questioned as the party lost many states. He said the date of notification is April 17 and the last date to file nominations is April 24.
EC sources said that the election schedule that was mentioned on the last page of the release was probably seen by some media persons who immediately aired it, leading to the "leak".
The Election Commission has ordered a probe after a BJP office-bearer tweeted the schedule of the Karnataka elections before it was officially announced. The poll which was commissioned by the Congress states that the party is expected to win around 124 seats. Malviya wrote on Twitter, "Karnataka will vote on 12 May 2018, counting on 18 May 2018". Leaders from both parties, including PM Narendra Modi, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and BJP's Shah visited the State multiple times over the past few months.
Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress Leader and the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee also accused the BJP-led NDA government of "using and misusing" all agencies, including the Election Commission.
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The election expenses ceiling has been fixed at Rs2.8mn per candidate for Karnataka though there is no expenditure ceiling for political parties, he said.
On the other hand, BJP too welcomed poll dates and claimed that the party was a step closer to "Congress Mukth Bharat".
Will it be a clear mandate or will it be a hung assembly in Karnataka?
The shouting match between the Congress and the JD (S) father-son duo of H.D. Deve Gowda and H.D. Kumaraswamy underlines the Vokkaliga-backed third power centre's ability to play game-changer. The BJP holds 44 and the JD (s) has 40 seats respectively.
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