Panaji (Goa), Nov.4: Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari on Monday said that the Congress Party has only articulated its position on opinion polls when asked by the Election Commission (EC), and added that the poll body has to take a call on this issue.
“The Election Commission asked all political parties to articulate their opinion with regard to opinion polls and pre-poll surveys. So as a political party, the Indian National Congress (INC) has articulated its position. Other political parties have to respond to Election Commission. Eventually, the Election Commission has to take a call on what they intend to do,” he said.
Tewari further said that the larger question, with regard to opinion poll or pre-poll survey is moral, and added that there are important legal and ethical questions that needs to be discussed by the Election Commission and the polity at large.
“But the larger question is moral, and the question is that, it is nobody’s case that every opinion poll is manipulated. But then, it does not mean that they are not subject to manipulation or that they cannot be manipulated by vested interests,” he said.
“What really needs to be considered is the value, which such an exercise brings to the entire democratic experiment. Does it really enrich the experiment or does it take away from the democratic experiment, and eventually, is it an attempt to formulate public opinion in a particular manner, or just reflect public opinion?” he questioned.
The Congress Party had written to the Election Commission (EC) to restrict opinion polls ahead of the elections.
The legal department of the Congress Party stated that opinion polls can be misused, and they are not scientific or credible.
The Congress, however, shifted from its earlier stand, where it dismissed the proposal of the Election Commission to ban opinion polls. (ANI)