Assembly Elections: Exit Polls Banned From Nov 7 Till Nov 30

According to the poll body, the ban will remain in effect from 7 am on November 7 till 6:30 pm on November 30….reports Asian Lite News

The Election Commission of India on Tuesday prohibited the publication or publicising of exit poll results from November 7 till November 30 evening in view of the upcoming Assembly elections in five states.

According to the poll body, the ban will remain in effect from 7 am on November 7 till 6:30 pm on November 30.

“The Election Commission, having regard to the provisions of sub-Section (2) of the said Section, hereby notifies the period between 7:00 am on 7th November 2023 (Tuesday) and 6:30 PM on 30th November 2023 (Thursday) as the period during which conducting and publishing or publicizing exit polls by means of the print or electronic media or dissemination in any other manner whatsoever, the result of any exit poll in connection with the aforesaid General Elections and bye-election shall be prohibited,” the official notification issued by ECI read.

An exit poll is a survey that is conducted immediately after people have voted for their respective candidates. The tool helps in assessing the support for political parties and their candidates.

The election dates for the five states are as follows: Mizoram on November 7, Chhattisgarh on November 7 and November 17, Madhya Pradesh on November 17, Rajasthan on November 25, and Telangana on November 30.

The counting of votes will take place on December 3 in all the states. Of the five states, polling in Chhattisgarh will be held in two phases.

The Model Code of Conduct has come into force with the announcement of poll dates. These elections are crucial as they are taking place months before the Lok Sabha elections scheduled for April-May next year.

According to the Chief Election Commissioner, nearly 16 crore voters are eligible to vote in these elections.

‘Can’t regulate political alliance’

The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Monday in its reply in the Delhi High Court, that it can’t regulate political alliances while responding to a plea against the use of the INDIA acronym for the Alliance of opposition parties

“The answering Respondent (ECI) is constituted under Article 324 of the Constitution of India for superintendence, direction and control of the conduct of all elections to parliament, state legislatures and the offices of president and vice president,” the ECI stated.

The authority of the answering respondent is to be exercised in accordance with the law passed by the parliament albeit the answering respondent has the authority to regulate matters concerning elections in the absence of any contrary law in force.

ECI further added “The answering respondent has been vested with the authority to register associations of bodies or individuals of a political party in terms of Section 29A of the Representation of People Act, 1951 (the “RP Act”).”

Notably, political alliances are not recognised as regulated entities under the RP Act or the Constitution.

Earlier the Delhi High Court had sought a response from the Centre, the ECI and several opposition political parties on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) for direction to opposition political parties to prohibit the use of the acronym INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) for their political alliance.

The bench of Justice Satish Chander Sharma and Justice Amit Mahajan had sought a response from the Centre Government through the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Election Commission of India (ECI) and Listed the matter for hearing on October 31.

However, in the matter, the court also sought responses from opposition parties named on the petition including the Indian National Congress, TMC, RLD, JDU, Samajwadi Party, DMK, Aam Aadmi Party, JMM, NCP, Shiv Sena (UBT), RJD, Apna Dal (Kamerawadi), PDP, JKNC, CPI, CPI (M), MDMK, Konganadu Makkal Desia Katchi (KMDK), Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, Indian Union Muslim League, Revolutionary Socialist Party, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation, All India Forward Bloc, Kerala Congress (Joseph), Kerala Congress (Mani) and Manithaneya Makkal Katchi (MMK).

Petitioner Girish Upadhya through Advocate Vaibhav Singh stated that several political parties using the national flag as the logo of their alliance which is a further strategic move to attract and gain sympathy and votes of the innocent citizens and as a tool to give nudge or a spark which may lead to political hatred which eventually will lead to political violence.

INDIA is an acronym for Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance, which is an opposition front announced by the leaders of 26 parties to take on the BJP in next year’s elections, the petitioner stated.

The plea alleged that political parties are using the acronym INDIA with malicious intent which will only act as a factor for diminishing the goodwill of our great nation i.e., India (Bharat), not only in our country but also on various international platforms.

The plea stated that if the term INDIA is used by the Indian and International Media as an acronym but not in its full form (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) it will create a sense of confusion among innocent citizens if the alliance i.e. INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) is defeated or loses the general election of 2024 then it would be projected as India as a whole is defeated, which will hurt the sentiment of innocent citizens of the country again which may lead to political violence in the country.

The act of these political parties may adversely affect the peaceful, transparent and fair casting of votes during the upcoming general election of 2024 which may expose the citizens to unwarranted violence and also affect the law and order of the country, plea added. (ANI)

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