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Only BJP in favour of opinion polls
Even SAD differs as EC gets replies from parties
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 15
The BJP is the only political outfit among a clutch of national and regional parties that is in favour of allowing opinion polls in the run-up to elections. The Election Commission of India (ECI) has received replies of political parties on allowing opinion polls and these have been forwarded to the Union Law and Justice Ministry.

The Law Ministry will take an opinion on it. The ECI, in its communication to the ministry, has said that five national and 10 regional parties have given their suggestions on the issue.

The ECI has also pointed out that its earlier recommendation to the Law Ministry for bringing amendments to the Representation of People Act, 1951 was made on the basis of unanimous opinion of political parties for the need to ban opinion polls from the date of notification of election.

However, according to the latest communiqué to the Law Ministry, some political parties, particularly the BJP, seem to have changed their opinion on the issue.

The main Opposition party, the BJP, does not endorse the proposal to impose any restriction on the conduct of or dissemination of the results of opinion polls.

It has told the ECI: “Any restriction on opinion polls would fall in the realm of a restriction on the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed in Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution.” Even the Akali Dal and Shiv Sena, allies of the BJP, are among those who have opposed opinion polls and have sought a immediate prohibition of their publication and dissemination.

The Akali Dal while registering its opposition believes: “Money plays an dominant role in the conduct of opinion polls...” Several parties have questioned the methods of conducting these opinion polls and suspected that money played a major role in ‘tweaking’ the results.

The Congress has supported a ban on opinion polls saying it endorses the proposal to restrict publishing and dissemination of opinion polls during elections.

“Opinion poll surveys during election are neither scientific nor is there any transparent process. The random survey lacks credibility and is capable of being manipulated by persons having vested interests,” said the Congress.

Among other main parties, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has sought a ban on opinion polls.

To allow or not to allow

  • EC receives replies from 5 national and 10 regional parties
  • Poll panel refers matter to Law Ministry





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