BJP defends Amit Malviya, blames TV report for tweet on Karnataka poll dates

The Union Minister for Minority Affairs said that Malviya's tweet had no intention to undermine the stature of the EC.

BJP defends Amit Malviya, blames TV report for tweet on Karnataka poll dates

NEW DELHI: Defending Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) IT cell chief Amit Malviya, who sparked a controversy by tweeting the dates for the Karnataka Assembly Elections even before the Election Commission, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that tweet is based on a TV channel's source.

The Union Minister for Minority Affairs said that Malviya's tweet had no intention to undermine the stature of the EC.

"Amit Malviya's tweet was based on a TV channel's source. It had no intention to undermine the stature of EC," Naqvi told ANI after meeting the EC officials.

Pointing out that a Karnataka Congress leader had also tweeted the same thing, the BJP leader, however, mentioned that Malviya should not have tweeted it.

"A Karnataka Congress leader had also tweeted the same thing. We agree that he (Malviya) shouldn't have tweeted it," he added.

Earlier today, a delegation led by Naqvi met the EC officials in connection with the incident.

Even before the Chief Election Commissioner Om Prakash Rawat announced the election dates, Malviya tweeted that the polling will be held on May 12 and the results would be declared on May 18.

When asked how Malviya announced the voting and counting dates even before the EC made the official announcement, Rawat termed it as a serious issue and assured that action would be taken if the body finds any wrongdoing.

While the polling date coincided with what Malviya tweeted, the date for counting of votes was different. Instead of March 18, the EC declared it as March 15. But Malviya deleted the tweet a few minutes following the controversy.

Here are the official dates announced by the Election Commission:

Notification: April 17, 2018

Last date of nomination - April 24, 2018

Date of scrutiny of nomination - April 26, 2018

Last date of withdrawal - April 27, 2018

Date of poll - May 12

Date of counting of votes - May 15

The election for the 224-member Karnataka Assembly will be held on May 12, 2018 and counting of votes will take place on 15 May, 2018. The last state elections were held in the first week of May in 2013.

While the Congress is aiming to retain the state, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is putting all its might to get the state into its kitty. If BJP manages to form its government in Karnataka, it will be in power on its own or in an alliance in 22 states. Currently, Punjab and Karnataka are two big states apart from Mizoram which are ruled by the Congress.