Election Commission bans exit polls

New Delhi: The Election Commission on Thursday banned exit-polls between April 4 and May 16 during which polling will be held in Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

"Exit polls cannot be conducted and publicised by means of print and electronic media or dissemination in any other manner starting from April 4 at 7 AM to May 16 at 6.30 PM," EC said in a release.

Election Commission further clarified that "under section 126(1)(b) of the Representation of People Act, 1951, displaying any election matter including results of any opinion poll or any other poll survey in any electronic media would be prohibited during the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for conclusion of poll in each of the phases."

The election timings for Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry are between 7 AM and 6 PM. The timings for West Bengal and Assam would be a little different depending on the topography of the constituency and the security situation.

The Existing law allows EC to ban opinion polls 48 hours prior to voting.

News24 Bureau