EC cautions media against opinion polls

EC cautions media against opinion polls

The Election Commission on Wednesday cautioned media against broadcasting and publishing of any opinion poll, noting that what was telecasted by a news channel was in effect exit polls as it covered the constituencies where polling had already taken place.

“The results of aforesaid opinion poll also included results in respect of various polls, which have already been concluded in 111 parliamentary constituencies. This dissemination of result of opinion poll in effect becomes dissemination of result of exit polls in respect of the said constituencies,” the poll penal noted in an advisory to heads of all news organisations.

It, however, did not mention the name of the NDTV in its letter. The poll penal noted that the results of the said opinion poll aired by “certain news channels” on April 14 "indeed" included the number of seats expected to be won by political parties where polls have already been held.

“Certain newspapers have also published the so called opinion poll. The above act of telecast by certain television channels and publishing of the same by some newspapers amounts to violation of section 126 A of the Representation of the People Act that prohibits publication and dissemination of result of exit poll,” it noted.

In order to maintain a level playing, the poll penal advised all print and electronic media not to resort to the “type of practice” which for “all practical purpose” mean dissemination and publication of exit poll.

The prohibited period for this purpose is explained in the Act as “the period may commence from the beginning of the hours fixed for poll on the first day of poll and continues till half an hour after closing of the polling in all the states and union territories," the commission pointed out.

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