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Tripura elections: Congress files police complaint against Jan Ki Baat’s Pradeep Bhandari after the polls predicted BJP victory

Congress leaders Dr Ajoy Kumar and Gaurav Gogoi along with party workers reached the local police station to file a complaint against Bhandari seeking action against him for allegedly violating the Model Code of Conduct and 'false reporting'.

On Tuesday, February 14, the Tripura unit of the Congress party lodged a complaint against Jan Ki Baat founder and CEO Pradeep Bhandari over the recently released opinion polls that predicted a victory for the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state.

Apparently, the opinion poll did not go well with the Congress leaders who filed a police complaint against Bhandari saying that despite a directive issued by the Election Commission on the broadcast of opinion and exit polls, the Jan Ki Baat opinion poll was released.

Congress leaders Dr Ajoy Kumar and Gaurav Gogoi along with party workers reached the local police station to file a complaint against Bhandari seeking action against him for allegedly violating the Model Code of Conduct and ‘false reporting’.

While addressing a press conference, the Tripura Congress in-charge Ajoy Kumar called Pradeep Bhandari a fraud and claimed that Bhandari did the same during the Bengal assembly elections as BJP won half the number of seats predicted in the opinion poll and TMC got double the seats the Jan Ki Baat poll had predicted.

“Such incompetent (Nikamma) and fraud who do such opinion polls for the sake of money should at least do some homework. Where will you go after March 2,” Kumar said.

Notably, the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Gitte Kirankumar Dinkarrao issued a directive on February 10 regarding opinion and exit polls, as well as print advertising, for the impending state election scheduled to be held on February 16.

As per the directive issued by Tripura CEO, opinion polls are not permitted to be broadcast 48 hours before the polls.  Beginning on February 14 at 4 pm, content, opinions, panel appeals, and remarks that could influence people were to be restricted. On February 15 and 16, print outlets will be able to run political adverts after seeking permission from the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) committee. From February 14 to February 27, neither opinion polls nor exit polls shall be allowed to release.

Interestingly, the directive barred the release or broadcast of exit and opinion polls from 14 February onwards, the Jan Ki Baat opinion survey was released on February 13. 

According to the Jan Ki Baat opinion poll, the BJP, which ended 25 years of Left rule in Tripura in 2018, would retain control of the state. The polling agency forecast a resounding victory for the Manik Saha-led Bharatiya Janata Party government in the state of Tripura in their survey, which included 10,000 respondents from all districts. According to the poll, the BJP would win between 30-35 seats in the upcoming Assembly elections, while the CPI(M) and its ally Congress, which failed to win any seats in the 2018 elections, could get 13–16 seats, or around half of what is predicted for the ruling party. The Tipraha Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance (also called Tipra Motha), meanwhile, might bag 13-11 sets as per the poll survey.

In an interview with ANI, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, on the question of the possibility of a hung assembly said that the constituencies in Tripura are small and “you will see that before 12 on counting day, the BJP would have crossed the majority mark.”

Amit Shah said Congress and CPI-M joining hands shows that they are not in a position to defeat BJP on their own and “it is a very good position” for the party. 

“We will increase our seats and also our vote share in Tripura. Congress and the Communist party have come together as they have accepted that they can’t defeat BJP alone. We will form a government with full majority in the state,” Shah said.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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