Poll panel takes note of exit poll violation by ‘Dainik Jagran’

EC to file FIR against Dainik Jagran for running exit polls.

New Delhi, Feb 13: The Election Commission today took cognizance of reports on conduct of exit polls by an organisation and its publication by the Dainik Jagran, saying it is in violation of poll laws as assembly polls are still on.

A commission spokesperson said Resource Development International had carried out the exit poll and the publication of its results by a Hindi daily is in “clear violation of Section 126 A and B of the Representation of the People Act and wilful disobedience of lawful directions of the EC under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.”
He said a report has been sought from the chief electoral officer, Uttar Pradesh, on the issue.
Writing in thewire.in on the episode, M K Venu says: ‘One thing is very clear — the owners of Dainik Jagran have taken this risk fully cognisant of the legal consequences. They have possibly consulted the best lawyers and are probably waiting for the election commission to initiate action.’
He goes on to add: ‘What is also apparent is Dainik Jagran — known to be unabashedly pro-Modi — has greatly helped the BJP by publishing the exit poll for western UP illegally and prematurely, thus creating a positive ‘hawa‘ for Narendra Modi in the remaining phases of the election in central and eastern UP.
‘One must bear in mind that the newspaper has the largest readership — over 45 million — and much of it is concentrated in eastern and central UP. So Dainik Jagran in many ways is best placed to influence the remaining phases of polling in UP.
‘Also, the exit poll comes the wake of an emerging consensus that the BJP is fighting with its back to the wall in UP, with its traditional voters such as Jats and Banias deserting it to a significant extent.’