Election panel bans exit polls

 
As per the guidelines, in the case of a single phase election, result of opinion/exit polls carried out at any time, cannot be published, publicised or disseminated in any manner, during the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for conclusion of poll.

In the current general elections in the three States, poll is scheduled on October 13, and the hour fixed for conclusion of poll in Arunachal Pradesh and in some constituencies of Maharashtra is 3 pm.

In Haryana, the hour fixed for conclusion of poll is 5 pm. Therefore, the (ban) period during which results of opinion/exit polls are not to be published/disseminated as per the Commission’s order shall start from 3 pm on October 11 and shall end at 5 pm on October 13.

In a separate directive the Election Commission has also advised Sharad Pawar, Union Agriculture Minister, for exercising  more care in future in matters concerning issuance of advertisements by the Ministry so that the Model Code of Conduct is duly complied with.

In a communication to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief sent on Saturday, the Election Commission said, “Commission is of the view that its advice in the matter has been misinterpreted while issuing the advertisement in question.”

“Once a direction is given, appropriate care should be taken by the Ministry/ department concerned to abide by the Model Code of Conduct in letter and spirit,” the Election Commission said.

Before arriving at the decision, the Commission considered Pawar’s reply and additional information furnished by the Department. The Commission has also sent a copy of its communication to Cabinet Secretary and Agriculture Secretary.

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