Election opinion polls conducted by media should be properly authenticated, former Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said Wednesday.
A day after a Hindi television news channel carried out a sting operation that indicated a political conspiracy to manipulate public opinion, Kejriwal said the sting operation aired by the channel, if assumed to be authentic, represents a dark hour for the Indian media. "It shows that political parties like the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have been buying favourable service to manipulate public opinion," the Aam Aadmi Party leader said.
He said the last few weeks have seen a flurry of opinion polls with successive higher projections for the BJP.
Kejriwal also demanded that the News Broadcaster Standard Authority (NBSA) and the Editors Guild should have checked the veracity of the sting operation and conducted an inquiry into the role of news channels in broadcasting manipulated polls. He said channels like Times Now, Headlines Today and India TV, which conducted opinion polls, should offer explanations and make full disclosure to the public.
A criminal investigation should be carried out by a Special Investigation Team, preferably under the Supreme Court, to verify all allegations in the sting, he said. The AAP will write to the NBSA, Editors Guild and approach the Election Commission with these demands, he added.