New Delhi: The Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday set up a committee of senior officials to probe the leak of Karnataka election dates before it was announced by the chief election commissioner earlier in the day.

The committee, which has been asked to submit its report within a week, would also suggest steps needed to prevent any such eventuality in future.

In a statement, the EC referred to a tweet by BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya in which he had put out the Karnataka poll dates minutes before CEC O.P. Rawat actually announced the schedule at a press conference.

Malviya tweeted that polls would be held on 12 May 12 and counting will take place on 18 May. While he was correct about the date of polling, he got the counting date wrong which will actually take place on 15 May.

“The Commission immediately directed that the matter be probed and necessary and effective action be taken. Accordingly, Commission has constituted a committee of senior officers of Election Commission to investigate the matter and give its report within seven days. The Committee would also suggest steps needed to prevent any such eventuality in future. The Committee set up by the Commission has already sought information from the concerned media organisations and individuals," the EC statement read.

The EC said Malviya, in another tweet, had attributed a news channel as his source.

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". He said people can conjecture but noted that since the information has been “leaked", the election commission will probe the matter and take “stringent action" both “legally and administratively".

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