Breaking: FIR filed against Dainik Jagran publishing exit poll in violation of code

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Election Commission has finally taken cognisance of the “exit poll” conducted by the Resource Development International and its results published by Hindi daily Dainik Jagran, terming it a clear violation of the Representation of the People Act and launched FIRs against the paper.

“It is in clear violation of Section 126 A &B of the Representation of the People Act and wilful disobedience of lawful directions of the Commission under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code. Reports have been sought from the the UP Chief Electoral Officer urgently,” said an EC spokesperson.

Former CEC N.Gopalaswamy tells The Wire Dainik Jagran can be criminally prosecuted by EC for publishing exit polls of phase I UP elections.

During this election cycle, first it was Prannoy Roy with revision of his probability win in Punjab from Congress to AAP. He apparently got off without even raising a cry of public protest. Then it was Dr Praveen Patil, 5forty3 who gave real time “exit poll” results during UP’s 1st Phase voting that projected a sweep for BJP. But next day, possibly being warned by the EC he offered this tweet:

“We openly apologize, if we have made any mistakes: "We never release any exit poll numbers and only give ground assessments."

Then came the Dainik Jagran exit polls that also projected a sweep for BJP. Strangely, the paper also published “exit polls” for February 15th 2nd Phase elections, which is strange as exit polls are polls after people actually voted and here Jagran carries it in advance. A section of the media launched a fierce campaign against Jagran led by TheWire.Because of this campaign, Jagran hastily took down the post. 

 Obviously, the BJP is quite rattled by the prospect that they could face a complete whitewash in the 5 State Assembly polls and these are all desperate reactions to ward off such an eventuality. Another explaination in social media is that some time ago Dainik Jagran apparently had a public spat with Akhilesh Yadav who did not renew Rajya Sabha membership for one of the newspaper owners and it is speculated in social media that their act of defiance to EC rules was to curry favour the BJP for a RS seat on one hand and get even with Akhilesh on the other hand.

Legalities aside, do such attempts to circulate fake exit polls change the outcome of elections?? Todate, there is no evidence of it doing so. Dainik Jagran had predicted a BJP win in Bihar too with a headline 'bdlaav ki oor bihar’ and got mud on their faces. And it looks like they would not only repeat this outcome but may face criminal charges, even arrest to boot!

But a section of Social Media is of the opinion that these efforts could hide a more sinister motive – a desperate BJP facing 0-5 loss may even be tempted to tamper with the EVMs and manipulation of exit polls is to make it look as they performed as per exit poll projections.

A related article on this controversy could be found: HERE

You Might Also Like


Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter