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Parties want opinion polls banned
Onkar Singh in New Delhi |
April 06, 2004 15:13 IST
Cutting across party lines, all national and regional parties have asked the Election Commission to ban opinion polls to prevent their misuse by vested interests.
An all-party meeting called by the Election Commission on Tuesday was chaired by Chief Election Commissioner T S Krishna Murthy in New Delhi at the Nirvachan Bhavan.
Political parties also recommended to the EC in the one-and-a-half hour meeting that results of exit polls be made public only after the last vote is polled in the penultimate phase of polling.
Briefing newsmen after the meeting, Congress spokesman Kapil Sibal said there was unanimity among political parties on banning opinion polls.
"Political parties do not agree with the predictions being made by media houses because they [the predictions] are not in agreement with the ground realities," he said.
As for the controversy over personal attacks in campaign speeches and advertisements, Sibal said the parties agreed to leave it to the commission to decide what constitutes a personal attack.
"The commission has said that they would hold another meeting very soon to discuss a poll advertisement code," he added.
BJP's V K Malhotra, whose party has faced flak for making personal attacks on Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her children, said he does not believe that "references to the Congress president's foreign origins constitute a personal attack."
On political advertisements, Malhotra said the Election Commission must evolve a mechanism whereby advertisements are cleared within 24 hours of submission.
Communist Party of India's D Raja said the criticism of political parties should be confined to their policies and programme, past record and work.