oppn parties Exit Polls by Dainik Jagran: Inadvertent or Calculated?

News Snippets

  • Ban on international flights extended till July 31
  • Reliance launches JioMeet to take on Zoom and other virtual meeting places
  • ICMR says the Covid-19 vaccine made in India, Covaxin, might be launched as early as 15th August
  • The Permanent Court for Arbitration says India is entitled to compensation in the Italian marines' case
  • China says it is "groundless and exaggerated" to claim that it follows expansionist policies
  • In a message to China, PM Modi says the era of "expansionism" is over
  • Prime Minister Modi says India will never bow to any world power
  • Film choreographer Saroj Khan breathes her last
  • China bans access to Indian news websites
  • PM Modi says that as Unlock-02 kicks in and more people resume working, people have to follow the rules even more religiously
  • PM Modi says that all citizens need to be vigilant against people who do not follow the rules in force, like wearing masks and maintaining social distancing
  • PM Modi warns the country that with the onset of the monsoon, more seasonal diseases will strike and citizens have to be more disciplined
  • Hero Cycles to buy the struggling Atlas Cycle group
  • RIL to buy the retail businesses of Future Group
  • Import licensing to be put in place for AC's TV's and other non-essential items
Prime Minister Modi visits Leh and Nimu in Ladakh to take stock of the situation arising out of the LAC stand-off with China and praises the soldiers injured in the Galwan clash
oppn parties
Exit Polls by Dainik Jagran: Inadvertent or Calculated?

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2017-02-14 07:25:01

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
In an unprecedented act of defying the Election Commission (EC), the Dainik Jagran group, with wide readership of its Hindi dailies in eastern UP, had chosen to publish the “exit polls” conducted by Resource Development International (I) Private Limited. The EC has consistently and rightly barred publication of any exit poll results in states where elections are held in phases till the polling for the last phase is over. This sensible practice is followed in order to prevent voters from getting swayed by such polls, whose authenticity is increasingly being doubted. Although it is debatable whether voters are in fact influenced by exit polls in other districts, the ban is appropriate in order to conduct free and fair elections.

Then what prompted Dainik Jagran to publish these results? The Jagran exit polls showed that the BJP was nosing ahead. Although the group is known to be inclined towards the NDA and Modi, it still doesn’t make sense for it to risk flouting section 126 A & B of Representation of People’s Act that carries punishment of 2 years jail and/or fine or both. Is a bigger game being played here that we are missing, given the high stakes involved in the UP polls? Or are the Gupta’s (owners of Jagran group) letting themselves to be used in this political game? The Jagran group first removed the results from its website and then said that they were published “inadvertently.” It is hard to believe that any editor of a large media house would allow an inadvertent slip as big as this through his eyes.

Without doubt, publishing the exit poll results was a conscious and calculated decision. Maybe, it was to align the group further with the BJP and Modi. Maybe, it is in anticipation of reaping post poll rewards. Maybe it was for money. Or maybe it was for something even bigger. But for whatever it was done, it was a bad decision. It made for bad journalism. It was unethical and undemocratic. It broke the laws of the nation. It lowered the prestige of the independent media in the eyes of the people. The Jagran group should be prosecuted as per law and maximum punishment should be levied on them.