The Delhi Congress on Saturday complained to the Delhi State Election Commission alleging that the Times of India’s Delhi edition had violated the poll panel’s guidelines by publishing an opinion poll within 48 hours of the end of polling for Sunday’s municipal corporation elections.
The party alleged that Times Now news channel had also similarly violated the guidelines and demanded action against the newspaper and the channel.
In its representation, the party said the directions of the Election Commission of India state that result of opinion or exit poll should not be disseminated by print, electronic or any other media during “the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for closing of poll in an election held in a single phase.” It said the poll panel had subsequently laid down a standard operating procedure for the last “72/48/24 hours till counting.”
The party urged the state election commission to issue an order “censuring the Times of India and Times Now for violating guidelines and standard operating procedure.” It also sought an unconditional apology from the newspaper and the news channel and said “further, necessary action must be initiated for violating the ECI directions in order to extend political benefits to BJP.”
The representation, signed by Sharmistha Mukherjee, in-charge communications of Delhi Congress, and Aman Panwar of the party’s legal department, alleged that the newspaper had violated the guidelines in its Delhi edition of April 22 and the channel on April 21. It also termed the opinion poll as “biased and baseless.”