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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

BSP too wants ban on opinion polls

PTI  New Delhi, November 04, 2013
First Published: 21:40 IST(4/11/2013) | Last Updated: 21:48 IST(4/11/2013)

Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on Monday joined Congress in supporting a ban on opinion polls ahead of elections, saying they cannot relflect the correct picture and were "susceptible" to being managed.

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Responding to the Election Commission's letter on the proposal to restrict opinion polls, BSP general secretary Satish Chandra Misra wrote "they do not and cannot reflect the correct opinion of public/voters at large."

BSP said the surveys are conducted "allegedly contacting and eliciting views of a very limited and selective voters" and their view cannot be said to be the view of the voters at large.

The party said there is no proper or scientific method by means of which a general view can be obtained from the electorate in a situation where most of the voters do not like to reflect their views except through a secret ballot.

"Such distorted opinions by agencies who are paid to conduct the same are suceptible to being managed or purchased to confuse the voters and public just before the polls.

"It is, therefore, necessary for conducting free and fair elections that such opinion polls should be banned during the elections," Mishra wrote on behalf of BSP.

On June 13, Attorney General GE Vahanvati had supported the Commission's proposal to ban publication and broadcast of opinion polls between the announcement of election schedule and the final phase of polling.

The existing law allows EC to ban them just 48 hours prior to voting.

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