ECI initiates inquiry into an early publication of exit poll in Tripura


Agartala, Feb 28 (UNI) – The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Tuesday initiated an inquiry into an exit poll released on social media platform on Monday during the polling in Nagaland and Meghalaya, which indicated a landslide victory of the ruling BJP with at least 34 seats in 60-members assembly.


Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Tripura Kiran Gitte said that they are trying to find out the source from where the report was released during the ban period. ECI had earlier put a restriction on the publication of exit polls till Monday evening as long as the voting in two other states was not completed but it was flouted.


The exit poll claimed to be conducted by a Delhi-based research group in collaboration with a local university and some scholars triggered a serious reaction among the political parties and administration.


The leaders of opposition parties – Congress and CPI(M) on Monday met CEO and demanded action against the people involved in violating the ECI order.


They also observed when ECI has been conducting booth-level meetings with the parties and common people to prevent post-result violence, such provocative exit polls triggered unrest among the BJP cadres in several locations and tensed the situation, which according to them, an attempt to challenge the authority of ECI.


“The matter has been brought to my notice and we are on the job to find out the person behind it, and certainly those who are involved in such unintended task will be booked as per law,” Gitte said adding that administration has undertaken all efforts to maintain peace and harmony after election results.


He pointed out that Tripura has a scripted record in the electoral history of the state by holding almost a violence-free election on February 16 with the help of all stakeholders but afterward a few incidents were reported from some areas, which were contained strongly. Similarly, the administration has taken measures to keep law and order normal after the announcement of the result on March 2.


Meanwhile, Congress MLA Sudip Roy Barman alleged that the ruling BJP has spent a huge sum to publish such an exit poll, which according to him, is far from reality and said, “BJP realized the electoral fate in Tripura but till the counting of votes they need to keep their cadres active; for which the party engineered a bias exit poll in some news channel.”


He further alleged that one Sajjan Kumar from Delhi was sponsored by BJP through the Information department of Tripura to make an exit poll in its favour and he did it with the help of some university teachers and scholars.


Before polling most illegally he was found speaking on a local television channel in favour of BJP without any basis, Roybarman stated.


“The exit poll published by different channels are almost in the same line but people of Tripura haven’t seen any group anywhere on the day of the poll or afterward doing the survey. It seems to be a paid publication made in the BJP’s laboratory and some brands lost their credibility at the behest of BJP,” said TIPRA Motha Chief Pradyot Kishore Debbarman.


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