The proposal, moved by law ministry, suggests amending the Representation of People Act of 1951 by inserting section 126 (b) “to restrict publication and dissemination of opinion and exit polls conducted during elections to the Lok Sabha and legislative assemblies". Sources said that the proposal, if cleared by the Cabinet, could be introduced in the coming session of Parliament as the Representation of People Act 1951 (3rd Amendment) Bill.
The proposal has the backing of all major political parties like the Congress, BJP and Left, which were consulted before proposing the amendment. Even the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, which looks into media issues, has supported the restriction while asking that it be extended to all forms of electronic media. The home ministry has approved the proposal, an official said, adding that I &B ministry"s approval came with a suggestion that new medium of communication like IPTV should also come under the purview of the amendment.
The Assembly polls in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi and Mizoram are due in November-December and the first casualty of the proposed restrictions will be elections in these states.