Goa Oppn leader demands banning of exit poll agencies

 Leader of Opposition and Congress leader Chandrakant Kavlekar (ANI/Twitter)

The Congress in Goa on Tuesday joined the national rhetoric questioning the findings of numerous exit polls, demanding that poll agencies who put dubious exit poll results in the public domain should be banned. 

Addressing a press conference at the Congress state headquarters in Panaji, Leader of Opposition and Congress leader Chandrakant Kavlekar also demanded a probe into the sudden disappearance and mysterious re-appearance of a rape victim — who in 2016 had accused Atanasio Monserrate, the Congress candidate for the Panaji Assembly bypoll, of rape — just around the time of the Panaji Assembly bypoll. 

“There are exit poll agencies whose findings have repeatedly failed to provide accurate predictions during past elections. Such exit polls create doubts in the minds of the people and vitiate the post-poll atmosphere. These agencies should be banned from conducting exit polls in the future,” Kavlekar told reporters at a press conference. 

He also expressed surprise at several exit polls predicting a Bharatiya Janata Party victory in both Lok Sabha seats in Goa. 

“Even the BJP in Goa has conceded defeat as far as the South Goa Lok Sabha seat is concerned. If this is the case, how have these exit polls slotted both seats for the BJP?” Kavlekar said. 

Kavlekar also demanded a probe by the Election Commission of India into the sudden disappearance of a rape victim during the Panaji assembly bypoll poll campaign, in which the person who she has accused of rape in 2016, was contesting on a Congress ticket.

He said that the controversy surrounding the victims’s disappearance had an impact on the voters’ mind and had allegedly been engineered by the BJP to discourage voters from casting ballot in favour of the Congress. 

“We are demanding that the Election Commission should conduct a probe into how the victim mysteriously disappeared and mysteriously appeared before and after the Panaji assembly bypoll,” Kavlekar told Deccan Herald.  

In 2016, Monserrate was arrested for alleging raping the victim, then a minor, and was chargesheeted last year. After disappearing on April 28, the victim was ‘traced’ at a woman friend’s house in North Goa District by the police, a day after the Panaji Assembly bypoll. 

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