All political parties in 2004 had agreed for a ban on opinion and exit polls but the government changed the law only to prohibit exit polls after protest by television channels. Recently, Congress and several other parties demanded banning opinion polls, but faced fierce opposition from the BJP that said the Congress sought a ban because its “rout in the polls was imminent”. Congress countered criticism saying it had only given its opinion sought by the EC on the issue.
Read: Should opinion polls on elections should be banned? Here's what readers say But the EC negated the perception the background paper on opinion polls was its idea. It was learnt the law ministry had asked the commission to hold consultations with parties on opinion polls after attorney general GE Vahanvati gave a legal view favouring the restriction.Read More: stung by opinion polls, Congress wants curbs; BJP cries 'loser' Majority of the 80 political parties who gave their feedback on the background paper sought a ban or restriction on opinion polls during election time. They had argued the opinion polls disturbed the level playing field by concentrating only on major political parties and overlooking important regional or smaller parties. Several parties had questioned the veracity of such polls: are they table-top surveys or genuine exercises. Another issue they raised was two surveys broadcast at the same time often presented entirely different results. Some parties wanted to know who funded these surveys.Read More: Opinion polls should be conducted in objective manner, says NCP