Free Press Journal

EC bans exit polls between Apr 7 and May 12


New Delhi: The Election Commission has banned the publication and dissemination of exit polls of any kind from April 7, the first phase of Lok Sabha elections, till May 12 when the last phase of the polling ends.

The Commission said the ban or “restriction” on exit polls will also be applicable for elections to Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh Assemblies which are being held along with Lok Sabha polls.

The exit polls will be banned from 7 AM on April 7 when polling in the first phase starts till 6.30 PM on May 12 when the polling in the ninth and last phase ends.

Using its powers under the Representation of the People Act, an EC notification said, “Conducting any exit poll and publishing or publicising by means of the print or electronic media or dissemination in any manner, whatsoever, the result of any exit poll….shall be prohibited.”

The Commission has also banned the publication of results of any opinion polls 48 hours before polling in respective areas.

The poll panel had proposed that there should be a prohibition on publication and broadcast of the results of opinion polls starting from the date of notification of elections till the completion of the last phase of polls to Lok Sabha and state Assemblies.

Existing law allows EC to ban opinion polls 48 hours prior to voting.