Chennai: In a significant development, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has prohibited conduct of any exit poll during the polling hours on Monday, October 21, when polling will take place to 51 Assembly byelections including two in Tamil Nadu — Vikravandi and Nanguneri – two byelections to the Lok Sabha, Samastipur in Bihar and Satara in Maharashtra besides the general elections to the State Legislative Assemblies of Maharashtra and Haryana.
Following the ECI’s gazette notification by the ECI in New Delhi on Tuesday, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Tamil Nadu, Mr. Satyabrata Sahoo, sent a communication to all the media including television channels and FM radios stations that for the by-elections to Vikravandi and Nanguneri Assembly segments in the State, any exit poll is banned.
Also, publishing or dissemination in any form of any result of any exit poll is also prohibited during the polling hours - 7 am to 6.30 pm on October 21.
The CEO in his communication said that the ECI has further clarified that under section 126(1)(b) of the Representation of the People Act, "displaying any election matter including results of any opinion poll or any other poll survey in any electronic media, would be prohibited" during the 48 hours prior to the conclusion of the polling hour fixed in connection with the bye-elections. The ECI's order on opinion polls also applies to the general elections in two other states.