The Delhi Congress on Saturday filed a complaint against an English daily and a news channel for publishing an opinion poll less than 24 hours before Sunday’s municipal elections. The complaint was sent to SK Srivastava, chief state Election Commissioner.
The complaint signed by Congress’s chief spokesperson Sharmistha Mukherjee and legal cell in-charge Aman Panwar alleged that publishing such an opinion poll was in violation of Election Commission of India guidelines and standard operating procedure (SOP).
But Srivastava told HT that he was not aware of any complaint. “If such a poll has been published, it is wrong and we will take appropriate action. We will send a notice to the concerned organization. As per norms, such news cannot appear ahead of the election.”
The complaint, also marked to the chief election commissioner of India, reads, “…Media house published a biased and baseless opinion poll on the front page ….with the sole agenda to extend political benefit to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the MCD elections voting for which is scheduled tomorrow (Sunday).
The ECI declined to comment and said it had not received any complaint so far.
“The said illegal act is in complete breach of the process of free and fair election. The responsibility of which is upon the EC. By doing so, the newspaper has deliberately attempted to prejudice the mind of the voters on the eve of the MCD elections,” reads the complaint.
A senior AAP leader said deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia had already commented on the issue on Friday. Tagging the news channel, Sisodia had tweeted that he complained to the state election commission for releasing the opinion poll and accused the media house of violating the model code of conduct.
On Saturday, the opinion poll was carried on the front page of the newspaper, giving the BJP the upper hand and a winner in two surveys across the three MCDs in Delhi.