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Akhilesh Yadav: Opium are not Opinion Polls

Akhilesh Yadav: Opium are not Opinion PollsAkhilesh Yadav: Opium are not Opinion Polls

Akhilesh Yadav, the president of the Samajwadi Party (SP), explained surveys predicting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s return to power in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh assembly elections as “opium polls” on Wednesday, just days after the SP sought a ban on opinion polls being aired on television news channels.

“Don’t call them opinion polls, they are actually opium polls,” Yadav said at a Republic Day function at the party headquarters here.

The surveys, according to the SP leader, were intended to ‘intoxicate the public mind’ in favour of the ruling party.

The party had written to the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Sunday, requesting a ban on opinion surveys on the grounds that they could influence election results. Two days later, its coalition partner, the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), urged the election board to suspend all sorts of opinion surveys broadcast on news channels with immediate effect.

Reacting to Yadav’s remarks, state BJP vice-president Vijay Bahadur Pathak said: “Since 2014, the opposition in general hasn’t been able to accept anything. They neither have any faith in the government, nor on the Constitution. They haven’t been able to digest people’s verdict. Now they don’t have faith in the opinion polls. After their defeat on March 10, they will cast doubt on the electronic voting machines too.”

Television stations are permitted by law to broadcast opinion polls prior to elections, but not exit polls (those done after elections) until all stages of voting have been completed in a multiphase election. That means that television stations are legally permitted to broadcast opinion surveys ahead of polls.

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According to an ABP-CVoter poll released earlier this month, the BJP and its allies will win the state with 223-235 seats, with the SP and its allies finishing in second with 145-157 seats. The poll predicted the BSP and the Congress will trail with 8-16, and 3-7 seats, respectively.

The SP, which is seen as the primary challenger to the current BJP, has expressed alarm about the opinion polls.

From February 10 to March 7, voters in the state will vote in seven phases. Results will be declared on March 10th 2022.

By TIS Staffer
the authorBy TIS Staffer

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