Editors Guild opposes Cabinet decision on exit polls

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New Delhi, Oct8 (UNI) The Editors Guild of India today opposed the Cabinet decision to put a ban on publication and telecast of exit polls during the election process, saying it was an assault on the freedom of the press.

''Though we admit that the existing methods of conducting exit polls need to be improved, we are against putting any blanket ban on such polls,'' General Secretary of the Editors Guild K Sachidanand Murthy told UNI.

Exit polls are an important tool in analysing the mood of the voter, he added.

Mr Murthy said there was no doubt that the quality of exit polls should be improved and fool proof methods should be evolved, but to do away completely with the tool would be wrong.

The Editors Guild felt that if the ban came into force, it would be an interference in the functioning of the press, he said.

However, broadcaster Rajat Sharma of IndiaTV welcomed the Government decision, saying that exit polls were never done scientifically and were never accurate, so influenced the voters' mind in a wrong way.

''In fact we have borrowed the idea of such polls from the West where voters were mature and aware. But in our country it was not the case. Moreover, the polls were held in several phases, which allowed vested interests to influence the voters mind for their own end,'' said Mr Sharma when asked for his reaction.


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