K'taka BJP slams exit polls

Updated on Apr 30, 2004 02:47 PM IST

Calling exit polls a 'sham', the Karnataka BJP said they were a new way of 'rigging'. He further stated that some of the exit polls were done as a campaign for the Congress.

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PTI | ByPress Trust of India, Bangalore

s Karnataka unit on Thursday slammed exit polls that forecast victory for the Congress in assembly elections after the first round of polls and then predicted the verdict to be "too close to call" after the second and final phase.

Terming exit polls as a new way of "rigging", party spokesman Suresh Kumar said "it won't be wrong to say that (some) exit polls done after the first phase have done campaigning (for the Congress).

Referring to an exit poll by a leading TV channel which gave 110-120 seats of the total 224 in Karnataka after the first phase, and then projected a "too close to call" phenomenon after the second phase, he told reporters that by coming out with a "smooth ploy" of not forecasting the seats tally, they (the channel) are keeping open the "escape route" if the final results go either way.

He alleged that different channels have "changed" exit polls according to their wants, and described exit polls forecast as "shocking", "very, very partisan" and "unhealthy development".

BJP is of the view that exit poll results can be released only after elections are held, he said.

Kumar also said that thousands of people could not exercise their franchise in the recent two-phased elections in Karnataka as their names did not figure in the voters' list. Even matinee idol Rajkumar could not vote, he noted.

According to him, in one booth, while a woman had her name in the list, her husband who accompanied her was shown as "expired".

Though voters list was prepared by officials of Bangalore city corporation in the city and Revenue officials in other parts of Karnataka, with the help of enumerators such as teachers, Election Commission cannot shirk its responsibility, Kumar argued.

He also charged some of these officials with helping the ruling Congress by deleting names of the voters in opposition strongholds.

Earlier, another party spokesman Arvind Limbavali, alleged that several BJP workers were attacked by their Congress counterparts at Gadag, Bantwal, Karkala, Somvarpet, Kagwad, Chikmagalur, Sagara and Soraba during the second phase of polling on April 26. Police connived with Congress workers, he charged.

If Congress workers 'continued to resort to violence' against BJP workers, BJP would consider holding a statewide peaceful agitation in protest against this, he said.

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