Congress spokespersons to shun opinion poll shows

Published: Nov 07, 2013, 21:14 IST | PTI |

Congress will not be sending its spokespersons and panelists for television discussions on pre- poll surveys after the party's trashing of such exercises as being "erroneous" and "manipulated" by vested interests.

Sources said the party has asked its television faces to avoid going for panel discussions which cover the results of opinion polls.

"We have distanced ourselves from discussions on opinion polls as we do not believe in them. We have already concurred with Election Commission's views (in the matter)," a party functionary said on condition of anonymity.

Congress spokespersons and panelists have already been informed about the guideline to shun opinion poll shows by AICC's Communications Department.

In a written reply to the EC on October 30, Congress had said it, "fully endorses the views of the Commission to restrict publication and dissemination of opinion polls during election (time)".

"Opinion polls during elections are neither scientific nor is there any transparent process for such polls." Congress had said that the random surveys "lack credibility" and could be "manipulated and manoeuvred" by persons having "vested interests".

The opinion polls do not help in strengthening democratic institutions and more often than not are "erroneous" as they do not represent the views of the majority of the electorate, the party said.

"These are contrary to the basic electoral concept and process undertaken by the Commission in discharge of its obligations. As such, we appreciate the initiative taken by EC," the party said.

The Congress letter to EC had sparked off a political controversy with BJP maintaining that "losers" were opposing the pre-poll surveys as these were now giving an edge to the main opposition party in elections in all states.

EC had last month sought the views of political parties on the issue of banning opinion polls after the government asked it to hold fresh consultations over the same.

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