EC curbs on exit polls

New Delhi: Taking note of violation by some media houses of its directive not to run exit polls till a specified time during the latest assembly elections in five states, the Election Commission on Thursday advised the media to refrain from such activity in future.

In a letter to the Secretary General of News Broadcasters Association and the Secretary of Press Council of India, the poll panel told the media, both print and electronic, to refrain from running exit polls or predictions about seats in future.

“Despite the provisions of Section 126A and notification by the Commission on March 4, specifying the period during which conducting or running any exit poll results was prohibited… it has been observed that some TV channels telecast certain programmes projecting the number of seats likely to be won by political parties,” it said.

“The Commission is of the view that prediction of results of elections in any form or manner by way of predictions by astrologers, tarot readers, political analysts or by any person during prohibited period is violation of the spirit of Section 126A of R.P. Act.”

It said that without the support of the media through “objective reporting and compliance to laid down code of conduct, rules”, the Election Commission would not have “earned the kind of recognition it got in election management the world over”.