New Delhi: AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal Monday urged the Election Commission to ensure a code for the telecast and publication of opinion polls ahead of the Lok Sabha election.
In a separate letter, the former Delhi chief minister asked the News Broadcasting Standards Authority to probe the role of some news channels in broadcasting manipulated opinion polls.
“The AAP demands that the Election Commission should issue clear guidelines to organisations conducting these polls, and to the media which intends to publish/telecast such polls for fixing the accountability of the job done by them, so that those indulging in frivolous activities don’t get away easily,” he said.
Kejriwal said the Aam Aadmi Party does not favour a blanket ban on opinion polls.
“But (it) would like to request the Election Commission (to ensure) that there should be a code of conduct … for the telecast/publication of opinion polls,” he said.
The letters follow a sting operation conducted by a Hindi television news channel that indicated a conspiracy to manufacture and manipulate public opinion before the election through opinion polls.
Kejriwal said the sting operation represented a “dark hour for the Indian media” and “strikes at the very root of our country’s democracy”.
“The sting operation shows that the heads of some of the well-known polling organisations are willing to manipulate pre-poll survey results for monetary considerations,” he wrote in his letter to Justice (retired) R.V. Raveendran, chairperson of the NBSA.
“There are serious allegations about many news channels being willing partners to this manipulation. lt shows that some political parties have been buying favourable surveys, often using black money,” he added.
Kejriwal demanded a criminal investigation into such manipulation.