Most television channels gave an early lead to the NDA when counting of votes in the Bihar assembly polls began on Sunday morning, prompting celebrations in BJP offices.
The NDA was leading when postal ballots were counted first but the lead fizzled into a debacle after EVMs were opened and checked.
An English news channel, still stuck to the initial cue, gave a lead of 88 to the NDA against 57 seats for the grand alliance around 10.30am. Another showed a close fight, the NDA’s 75 versus grand alliance’s 70, against 150 seats trending at the time.
Worst, these channels got their experts to analyze wrong data on live television.
When latest trends poured in these channels held back their projections, one even clarifying that figures were being re-checked.
As it turned out, there were some discrepancies in the figures provided by AB Neilson, the agency that provides on-ground data on leads and wins of candidates from counting centres to news channels.
AC Nielsen declined comment, but it’s learnt that the company relies heavily on Election Commission feeds despite having its men on the ground.
It was Rajya Sabha TV that got the picture right. The channel’s CEO Gurdeep Sappal said the state-run channel had personnel positioned at each counting centre, who sent updates every two minutes.