Congress accuses AAP of propagating false survey results through phone calls to voters

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Published: May 11, 2019 4:16:30 PM

The complaint does not name the Aam Aadmi Party but at a press conference Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera alleged that these were tactics adopted by the AAP since it knew it was losing in the polls as the battle is between the Congress and the BJP.

Congress accuses AAP of propagating false survey results through phone calls to voters (Representative Image)

The Congress Saturday accused the Aam Aadmi Party of propagating “false” survey results through phone calls to voters during the 48-hour election silence period. The Congress’s Delhi unit has filed a complaint with the Election Commission alleging recorded phone calls are “being used to spread misinformation in an attempt to influence the electorate”. The complaint was filed by Romila Dhawan, the election agent of the party’s northeast Delhi candidate and former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

The complaint does not name the Aam Aadmi Party but at a press conference Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera alleged that these were tactics adopted by the AAP since it knew it was losing in the polls as the battle is between the Congress and the BJP. Khera claimed the AAP was using a call centre to make such calls to voters.

“These calls have gone to voters in seven parliamentary constituencies and started at 5.10 pm. Initially, when the call is received a recorded message is played asking voters which party will they vote for. After one-and-a-half-hours they again receive a call telling them the AAP is getting 40 per cent or 52 per cent votes,” Khera told reporters. He said the party has complained to the EC as well as Chief Electoral Officer, Delhi in the matter.

“This has never happened. When you know after 5 pm (when the campaigning ends) that you are nowhere in the contest, you resort to such tactics. We demand criminal action in the matter. These are serious allegations,” he said. He said this “kind of politics” has not been seen before and everybody knows their reality.

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According to the complaint, members of the public have been receiving phone calls from various numbers, which when picked up, play an automated message purporting to be the result of a survey in which the person receiving the call has participated. “The message names political parties and completely random and inexplicable percentages against their particulars. The message conveys that the result of the survey in which the receiver of the call has ostensibly participated is that AAP got 47 per cent, BJP 37 per cent and Congress 11 per cent votes,” the complaint said. It said such calls are a clear violation of the Representation of People Act, 1951, and the Model Code of Conduct, and also violate the 48 hours campaigning prohibition.

“The Commission is urged and requested to take immediate notice of the matter, investigate the same, and ensure that such calls and other similar tactics are discontinued immediately, and the individuals or organisations which have facilitated such flagrant violations of electoral laws, be brought to justice as per the provisions of the law, including but not limited to the registration of criminal case,” the complaint said. Delhi goes to polls on May 12 and will see a triangular fight between the BJP, Congress and the AAP on all the seven seats.

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