New Delhi, April 16 :
The Election Commission Wednesday asked news organisations to desist from publishing opinion polls that include constituencies where voting has already taken place.
Taking note of certain opinion polls which included 111 constituencies where voting took place April 7, 9, 10, 11 and 12, the poll panel said: “This dissemination of results of the opinion poll in effect becomes dissemination of results of exit polls in respect of the said constituencies.”
The commission said in a letter to chief editors of all TV channels and the print media that it has noticed that “the results of the aforesaid opinion poll indeed included the number of seats expected to be won by political parties where polls have already been held”.
The commission said the telecast and publishing of opinion polls by some news organisations amounts to violation of the provision banning exit polls.
“In consideration of the above, and in order to maintain level playing field and to ensure free and fair election, the commission advises all print and electronic media not to resort to the type of practice as mentioned above which for all practical purposes means publication of exit poll while claiming that the same is only an opinion poll,” the letter said.