Updated: March 31, 2017 7:03:16 am
The Election Commission (EC) has objected to television news channels using astrologers, tarot card readers and political analysts to predict poll results even before the voting ends. In an advisory issued to all newspapers and news channels on Thursday, the EC told them to “refrain from telecasting/publishing similar programmes in future elections during the prohibited period under Section 126(A) to ensure free, fair and transparent election”.
Section 126A prohibits media from carrying any exit poll results, starting from 48 hours before the voting and till the polling ends. During the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, the EC had ordered filing of FIRs against editors of Dainik Jagran newspaper for carrying an exit poll result on its website immediately after the first phase of polling in the state. The exit poll had projected a clear lead for the BJP. The EC, however, wants this ban to be extended to programmes with astrologers, tarot card readers and political analysts on the ground that they can influence voters with their predictions.
“In one of the channels, the panelists on the show who were persons from different fields, including political analysts, put forward the projected number of seats likely to be won by different political parties,” the advisory stated. It further said, “The Commission is of the view that prediction of results of elections in any form or manner by astrologers, tarot readers, political analysts or by any persons during the prohibited period is a violation of the spirit of Section 126A which aims to prevent the electors of constituencies still going to polls from being influenced in their voting by such predictions about the prospects of the various political parties.”
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