The Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday issued specific guidelines for publishing or telecasting of exit polls for upcoming assembly elections and by-elections. The ban will be effective from 7.00 am to 6.30 pm on October 21 when Haryana and Maharashtra goes to polls, the election commission said. Bypolls to 51 Assembly constituencies in 17 states will also be held on the same day, apart from the two parliamentary constituencies of Satara in Maharashtra and Samastipur in Bihar. The ban on the exit poll is effective on these elections as well, said the EC.
In a detailed statement, the Election Commission said: "And as per the provisions of Section 126A of The Representation of the People Act, 1951 (in short RP Act, 1951), there shall be restrictions on conduct of any exit poll and publication and dissemination of result of such exit polls during the period notified by the EC."
Shephali Sharan, official spokesperson of the poll body said, "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 hours fixed for conclusion of polls in the respective polling areas in connection with aforesaid general elections and bye-elections."