We cannot ban opinion polls: CEC

Ranchi, March 30: Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) V.S. Sampath said here Sunday the Election Commission cannot ban opinion polls as parliament has already framed a law.

“Parliament has framed a law and the exit poll has been under it. But there is no prohibition on opinion poll so we cannot ban it,” he said at a press conference here.

The CEC was here to review the poll preparations in Jharkhand where balloting in the 14 constituencies will take place April 10, 17 and 24.

To a question, he said: “We are enforcing the model code of conduct in addition to existing laws. We initiate action if campaigning takes place on communal, religious lines and involves inflammatory speeches.”

Meanwhile, representatives of various political parties met the CEC and raised a few queries like the number of vehicles which can be used during campaigning and putting up flex boards or hoardings at party offices and houses of workers.

“We have allowed use of flex boards or hoardings at party offices and houses of workers,” Sampath said.

He also held a meeting with the chief secretary, home secretary, inspector general of police, deputy commissioners and superintendents of police of all the 22 districts.

“The officials have been asked to remain neutral.”

“Till now, 256 FIRs related to violation of the model code of conduct have been lodged in Jharkhand. Further, Rs.51 lakh in cash, 66,000 litres of liquor and illegal items worth Rs.49 lakh have been seized in the state,” Sampath said.

IANS