Ban on opinion polls?

Highlights

Ban on Opinion Polls?, Election Commission Restrict Publication, AICC Legal Department Secretary. The Congress has communicated to the Election Commission favouring a ban on opinion poll surveys ahead of elections

• Congress favours idea mooted by EC

• EC wrote to all parties seeking views
• Oppn parties attack Cong for the move
The Congress has communicated to the Election Commission favouring a ban on opinion poll surveys ahead of elections. The Congress endorsement of Election Commission proposal comes shortly after Attorney-General G E Vahanvati's legal opinion to the Law Ministry, in which he said a ban on opinion polls would be Constitutionally-permissible. The Congress took the position that the process of opinion polls is neither scientific, nor transparent and that opinion polls can mislead the public.
The Election Commission proposed to restrict publication and dissemination of opinion polls during elections. The Congress stand comes in response to the Election Commission writing to all national parties on their views on opinion polls and whether they impact election results. “The Commission desires that the views of your political party on the proposal to prohibit conducting opinion polls and disseminating results thereof during the election period may be communicated to the Commission,” its recent communication to all political parties stated.
AICC legal department secretary K C Mittal formally conveyed to the Election Commission, “Our party fully endorses the views of the Election Commission of India to restrict publication and dissemination of opinion polls during the election.” Opinion polls during election are neither scientific nor is there any transparent process for such polls. “These are contrary to the basic electoral concept and process undertaken by the ECI in discharge of its obligations. As such, we appreciate the initiative taken by the ECI,” he said. The Opposition parties were quick to attack the Congress, saying that since it is finding itself on the backfoot in many of the recent opinion polls, the party has changed its stance now to favour a ban.
BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy said, “Surveys and opinion polls have been conducted for a very long time but now the Congress is suggesting that it should be banned. There were occasions when they welcomed the opinion polls when they were in their favour. It highlights the insecurity of the Congress.” CPI National Secretary D Raja said, “Of course the Congress party has reasons to worry about the recent poll surveys which are coming out every now and then. The opinion polls show that the Congress party is declining and will be defeated."
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Naresh Gujral said, “The same Congress party was all for opinion polls when the wind was in their favour. Now that they are facing opposition from the people they are asking to ban opinion polls. When all other parties demanded a ban, congress did not pay heed to us.”
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