With just BJP opposing any restriction on opinion polls, the Election has asked the government to impose a ban on opinion polls from the date of notification of elections.
The commission on advice of the Law ministry had sought views of the political parties on opinion polls after Attorney General G E Vahanvati has said that restrictions can be imposed.
The law ministry had asked the EC to offer its view on whether the ban on opinion polls should be effectuated from date of notification or date of announcement of elections.
Five national parties and 10 state parties responded to the EC and all of them, except BJP, said there should be some restriction of opinion polls. The BJP said that imposing any restriction on opinion polls would be in violation of the Constitution.
In its response, the EC said it has recommended ban on opinion poll from date of notification, its view after holding consultation with parties in 2004. The EC said that in 2004 there was unanimous view that opinion polls should be banned, unlike this time when BJP does not want any restriction.
“The political parties were then (2004) of the unanimous view that publishing the results of opinion poll should be prohibited from the date of notification of election,” the EC said in its letter.