Kejriwal writes to EC, seeks clear guidelines on opinion polls

By on March 4, 2014

Aam Aadmi Party leader, Arvind Kejriwal, has written to the Chief Election Commissioner and the National Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) seeking a probe into a recent sting operation aired by a private news channel on “manufactured” opinion polls conducted by well-known agencies.

“The sting operation indicates a conspiracy to manufacture and manipulate public opinion before elections through opinion polls. This conspiracy challenges the foundations of democracy,” Kejriwal wrote in the letters released to the media on Monday.

Without naming any political party, Kejriwal alleged that the sting operation showed that some parties were “buying favourable surveys, often using black money”.

The AAP sought a criminal investigation carried out by a Special Investigation Team, preferably monitored by the Supreme Court, to verify all the allegations in the sting.

Kejriwal said his party did not favour a blanket ban on opinion polls, and urged the Election Commission to issue clear guidelines to organisations conducting such polls and print/electronic media which intend to publish/telecast such polls for fixing the accountability of the job done by them.

Referring to NBSA as a “widely respected independent authority”, the AAP said there was also need to look into the “important issue of ownership of media organisations”.

“All the media organisations must be required to disclose the list of their shareholders, investors and lenders, their annual financial statements and make full disclosure of their political connections and business interests outside media,” says the letter.

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