The Election Commission (EC) on Saturday asked the Delhi police to investigate claims made by a news channel that survey companies were willing to manipulate opinion polls for money.
The claims, made on the basis of a sting-op, have provided the EC an opportunity to once again ask the government to restrict opinion polls. “We can debar opinion polls only 48 hours before polls. But that is not sufficient,” an EC official said.
It also wrote to the Press Council of India and News Broadcasting Association suggesting ways to regulate opinion polls.
“You may consider prescribing appropriate guidelines and norms to be followed by media while engaging agencies for conducting opinion polls, methodology of such polls and publishing results…to have transparency,” the letter read.
A ban on opinion polls can only be brought about by changing the law. However, the last Parliament session before the Lok Sabha polls ended on February 21. Government sources ruled out a possibility of an Ordinance to impose a ban.
The Congress and AAP favour a ban while the BJP has opposed such a move.