In an apparent turn around, the Election Commission on Friday said exit polls would be banned till May 16 – the day of counting, and an hour later came out with a statement clarifying that the ban on exit polls would be in place only till the end of the last phase of polling on May 12.
In a statement, Director in the Election Commission Dhirendra Kumar said, “In a multi-phased election, the ban begins the hour the poll is fixed and ends half an hour after the last phase of polls end.” The EC had to issue the clarification after it was flooded with calls and emails from the media over the timing of the ban on exit polls following Election Commissioner H S Brahma’s statement.
Addressing a press meet, Brahma, in a slip of tongue, said: “You are not supposed to conduct exit polls before the counting day. On the evening of May 16, you can openly telecast the exit polls. Exit polls should be aired only after counting. What is the hurry?”
Brahma had also argued that there could be re-elections at several places.