Opinion polls lack transparency, credibility: Sheila Dikshit

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Sheila Dikshit
New Delhi, Nov 5: Amid sparring by political parties over opinion polls, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today supported Congress' demand for regulating them during elections, saying such surveys lack credibility as they are not conducted in a transparent way.

Dikshit said opinion polls do not reflect the ground realities and there is a need to examine the issue carefully as results of the surveys can influence voters.

"The results of the opinion polls are not factually correct. They are not conducted in a transparent way. Often wrong message goes to people because of these surveys," she said replying to a question on the issue.

A number of opinion polls in the last one month predicted a hung House for Delhi in the December 4 assembly polls as most of them projected that neither the BJP nor Congress will get majority on its own. Some opinion polls have projected that AAP may eat into Congress' vote share and even predicted significant number of seats for it in the 70-member Delhi assembly.

Questioning reliability of the opinion polls, Dikshit said there was scope for "manipulation" of the results by vested interests. "We cannot rely on the opinion polls as there may be so many things behind these surveys. I do not think they reflect the real picture. There was a need to examine the issue," she said.

Congress and a number of political parties have sought a ban or regulation on opinion polls during the election process while BJP opposed it vehemently saying the ruling party was favouring prohibition fearing defeat in the upcoming assembly polls and Lok Sabha election next year.

The Election Commission had sought the views of various parties on banning opinion polls after the government asked it to do so. The Congress had written to the Commission on Saturday favouring restriction on the publication and dissemination of opinion polls during polls. It said random surveys were "erroneous", "lack credibility" and could be "manipulated" by vested interests.

PTI

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