News channel CNN-IBN had announced the “biggest exit poll” for the Bihar election but did not telecast it at the announced time on Thursday. The agency which conducted the poll, Axis-Ad-Print-Media (India) Limited, posted the results on its website on Friday and predicted 169-183 seats for the Grand Alliance and 58-70 seats for the NDA.
Channel sources said that the poll was not telecast because the agency had refused to share raw data with them and the channel had not been convinced enough by the projections to telecast it. The agency, on the other hand, maintains that it had shared only the pre-poll survey data with CNN-IBN and the exit poll data was confidential.
Incidentally, Axis’s prediction had been closest to the Aam Aadmi’s Party’s final landslide tally of 67 seats in Delhi earlier this year. It had predicted 53 seats for the AAP.
Axis chairman and Managing Director Pradeep Gupta told The Indian Express that his exit poll will be proved “100 per cent correct.” He reminded that in 2014 Lok Sabha election too Axis had done the biggest pan-Indian survey. Gupta said: “You should ask the channel why are they not showing the poll done by us.”
When asked was Axis commissioned to do the survey by the channel, Gupta said, “We did it our own.” He added,
“We have not done it for them (channel). We keep doing these things.” The channel’s CEO Rahul Joshi was not available for comment.
When contacted, a CNN-IBN insider said: “We were not convinced by the figures. They looked too lop-sided to be real. There were micro-level issues that clearly had not been taken into account. For example, Bakhtiarpur is Nitish Kumar’s area and the survey showed BJP winning it. We asked them for the raw data but they did not comply. We looked at carrying the findings with some riders about vote swings etc but in the end decided against it…”
Rishabh Maheswari, assistant vice-president (marketing) for Axis, said: “We did have a tie-up with CNN-IBN for the pre-poll survey where we showed JD(U)+ winning 137+/-8 seats. They did telecast it. As for the exit poll data, it is confidential and we have not shared it with anybody. It is not on our website either.”
Reacting to the survey which gives BJP dismally low number of seats, a senior BJP leader told The Indian Express, “I have studied both surveys. Chanakya and Axis both have similar social data and their polling pattern. How can they derive different conclusions?” He dismissed the survey as the publicity stunt.
(With ENS inputs)