The Election Commission has issued a circular reminding media organisations its order issued in 1998 that opinion polls stand banned 48 hours ahead of the polling day. It has also put a ban on the conduct of the exit polls or publication or broadcast of their results with effect from 7am on Monday, in view of the start of the polling in the first phase on that day.
"No person shall broadcast, publish or disseminate the results of an opinion survey respecting how electors will vote at an election or respecting an election issue that would permit the identification of a political party or candidate from midnight the Friday before polling day until the close of all polling stations," the order stated. It is also forbidden to publish or circulate the results of exit polls, even if such surveys were carried out before the above mentioned period till the completion of polling in the nine-phase election, the notification said.
The EC also clarified that display of any election material, including results of any opinion poll or any other poll survey, in any electronic media is prohibited 48 hours ahead of the end of polling in the respective polling areas under Section 126(1)(b) of the Representation of People Act.