UP Assembly Polls: SP writes to EC seeking a ban on opinion polls by TV channels

Express News Service

LUCKNOW: The opinion polls being aired by various news channels seem to have unnerved the Samajwadi Party (SP) which, on Sunday, shot off a letter to the Election Commission of India (ECI) seeking an immediate ban on opinion polls.

Writing the letter to the ECI and marking it to the UP Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), SP State chief Naresh Uttam Patel said that the opinion polls should be banned immediately as they were misleading the electorate.

Patel wrote that after the notification of the poll dates on January 8 and the nomination for Phase I already over, “the opinion polls being aired by several television news channels are misleading the voters and the elections are getting affected.”

“At the same time, it is also an open violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) for elections…So for free, fair, fearless polls, it is necessary to ban opinion polls on television news channels with an immediate effect,” he wrote.

According to Samajwadi Party spokesperson Abdul Hafiz Gandhi, there is no point in having an election, if TV channels are issuing verdicts like this that might affect voters’ mindset.  “The opinion polls must be banned so as to make it a level playing field for all the political players,” he said adding that the history of opinion polls was there before everyone as they have turned so wrong many a times. “Even the credibility of such survey is a dispute,” he said.

“Who conducts these surveys. I have yet to come across any surveyor of any such opinion polls. Moreover, the sample size also matters a lot. If a small chunk of the population is surveyed, how it could convey the sentiment of the majority. Surveys must be banned,” said a senior SP leader.