The Congress’s stand, expressing agreement with the Election Commission’s view that opinion polls should be banned (Nov. 4), reflects its hypocrisy. The argument that opinion polls could mislead people is a weak defence. The electorate is not foolish enough to be swayed by opinion polls.
Recent poll surveys have predicted a defeat for the Congress in the Assembly elections to five States and the 2014 general election. This seems to have made the party jittery. One wonders whether the Congress would have adopted a similar stand if the opinion polls had predicted a victory for the party.
N. Sadhasiva Reddy,
Since the main issue in the forthcoming elections is corruption, the Congress has endorsed the Election Commission’s suggestions on banning opinion polls. The results of poll surveys help voters to form an opinion about various parties. Politicians should not have the exclusive right to influence the electorate. The allegation that random surveys are erroneous, lack credibility and can be manipulated holds good for political parties’ propaganda material too.
The Election Commission has already banned exit polls till the completion of elections to avoid influencing voters. It now wants to ban opinion polls too. This will amount to an infringement on the freedom of expression. The Congress may be perturbed by the fact that recent opinion polls have predicted poor results for the party in the coming elections. That should be no reason to change the existing system.
The Congress’ stand that opinion polls are neither scientific nor transparent, and can mislead people contradicts the generally accepted fact that our voters exercise their choice wisely. Banning opinion polls would amount to curbing the democratic right of the media to disseminate information on the basis of which voters can make an informed choice.
H.R. Bapu Satyanarayana,
Opinion polls are indeed unverifiable and can be manipulated. No opinion poll is completely accurate. There have been instances of their not only going wrong but also being contrary to the real verdict.
Hardcore party loyalists will vote only for their parties. It is only fence-sitters who will vote for the party or alliance which opinion polls project as the winner.