Ban pre-poll surveys by media outlets six months before state and general elections to ensure voters can exercise their rights freely, fairly, and uninfluenced by the “misleading” projections which are “sponsored surveys”, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has appealed to the Election Commission. With just months to go before Uttar Pradesh votes early next year, the party has invoked the jurisdiction of the Election Commission to issue guidelines to ensure polls are “free and fair”.
The party said it was “surprised with the pre-poll survey” broadcast in September by a news outlet claiming that the survey “tried to lower the morale of BSP workers” while showing “the ruling party in a very good light”. According to the report, BJP was shown to be “getting more than 40% of the vote share which is going to be even higher than 2017 vote share”.
“The alleged survey was shown with the mischievous and predetermined intention to mislead the voters in Uttar Pradesh,” Mayawati’s party said in the letter.
The prediction was based on “interviews of few thousand people as against 15 crore voters of UP” and “is totally baseless”, the letter alleged.
The letter further alleged that the agency which conducted the survey for the channel was earlier “caught in a sting operation”.
The BSP in the 11-page letter has also cited exit poll and opinion poll results broadcast by various national news channels ahead of the 2021 Bengal Assembly elections.
While many had predicted BJP would win the state, the actual result stunned all. “Different agencies have predicted extremely different data of pre-poll and exit polls which allegedly form their opinions on the basis of surveys of voters of the very same state and for the same elections, and the actual results show totally different results,” the party said.
India’s most populous and politically crucial state, Uttar Pradesh is expected to see a fierce, closely watched contest this time between the ruling BJP, Samajwadi Party, the BSP, the Congress, and other newcomers like the Aam Aadmi Party.