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In a gross violation of Election Commission rules, IANS publishes a comprehensive Exit Poll for 2019 Lok Sabha elections

It remains to be seen whether the Election Commission would take any action against IANS.

Indo-Asian News Service (IANS), in a gross violation of the Model Code of Conduct rules, published a comprehensive Exit Poll on 12th May 2019. IANS tweeted a survey of voters which was, according to them, undertaken by institutions and calculations by independent psephologists.

In the Exit Poll, IANS has asserted that there seems to be unanimity between psephologists regarding the possible outcome of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The results of these elections are set to be declared on 23rd May.

Using powers under the Representation of People Act, 1951, EC banned exit polls from the time the poll begins till half-an-hour after the polling ends since 1998.

The last phase of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections is still to conclude. The Election Commission had spread this election out in 7 phases. Up until now, 6 phases of the elections have concluded and the last phase is set to take place on Sunday, 19th May 2019.

The clinching fact that IANS itself tweeted about how their numbers depend on “a survey of voters” makes this a breach of Election rules as they are not allowed to published Exit Polls till 30 minutes of the conclusion of all phases of voting.

It remains to be seen whether the Election Commission would take any action against IANS. Earlier too, when Swaraj Express had aired Exit Polls, many psephologists believe that in the age of the internet, this rule by the Election Commission may as well be reduntant because it is difficult to monitor what is being published on the internet.

Earlier, Swaraj Express, an online media portal, appeared to air an exit poll of elections in a gross violation of Election Commission regulations. Vinod Dua, who had allegations of sexual harassment levelled against him in the past, was anchoring the show. The video has apparently been removed from YouTube. The link of the deleted video is here.

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