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EC again asks Govt to ban opinion polls from notification day

Source : PTI
Last Updated: Fri, Nov 15, 2013 13:07 hrs

New Delhi: After getting fresh support from various political parties, the Election Commission has written to the Ministry of Law and Justice for a ban on opinion polls from the date of notification of elections.

In a communication to the Law Ministry, the Election Commission has said that a total of 15 political parties, including five national and 10 regional parties, responded to its proposal on opinion polls and a majority of them supported the ban.

"Five national parties and 10 state parties have submitted their views on the matter," the Commission said after it wrote to various parties seeking their views afresh on opinion polls.

The Law Ministry had asked the Commission to hold fresh consultations with parties on the issue and then give its views.

While forwarding the response of the parties, the poll panel noted that it had previously held consultations with parties on the issue on April 6, 2004.

"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.

"Accordingly, the proposal made by the Commission was for a provision made in the law prohibiting publishing and dissemination of result of opinion poll from the date of notification of election," the EC letter says.

A perusal of views expressed by various parties on the issue of opinion poll reveals that barring BJP, almost all parties have sought a ban or restriction of some kind on the dissemination of result of opinion poll ahead of elections.

Prominent parties which sought a ban or restriction on opinion polls ahead of elections include Congress, CPI-M, BSP and NCP, besides SP, AIADMK, DMK, JD-U, Shiv Sena and SAD.

The TMC, DMDK, IUML and KJP have also favoured a ban/ restriction on polls during elections, saying it affects the voters.

The BJP, however, says there should be no ban as this would fall in the realm of a restriction on fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression.

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