Press Trust of India - New Delhi, March 27
Describing as 'inaccurate and flawed' various opinion polls doing the rounds, Communist Party of India Marxist on Saturday debunked the findings which predicted a win for the BJP-led NDA alliance.
Referring to a survey telecast by a private TV channel last night, CPI-M Polit buro member Sitaram Yechury said, "it's a little too early and unscientific," as in most states the candidates had not yet been finalised and seat-sharing talks were still on among various parties.
"This poll is seriously flawed as the outcome of the survey is crucially dependent on the choice of a candidate in a particular constituency. His social background and caste plays a key role.
"In fact, major parties have not announced all their candidates and are waiting for each other (to release their list) so they are going to be inaccurate," he said adding that the exercise had been undertaken 'a little too early.'
Apart from the usual flaws that such surveys are prone too, he said in a country like India, where there is a lot of diversity, 'they don't hold.'
Many western countries and agencies like the BBC had done away with the practice of publicising such exercises, after they proved to be inaccurate, he told reporters in New Delhi.
When asked about his view on exit polls, Yechury said CPI-M was of the view that they should be published or broadcast after the "last vote is cast" in the five-phased election this time.
Many of these surveys are found to be "motivated and there are a lot of undercurrents," the Leftist leader said.
For the exit polls, the Election Commission has convened a meeting of political parties on April 6, to elicit their views on the issue.
Yechury said "our view is that the law as it stands should be implemented."
Telecasting of exit polls before the whole exercise of polling is complete is not ethical, he said adding that parties with greater resources could influence the voter in other regions by 'doctoring' them thereby altering the level-playing field for smaller parties that did not have the means to sponsor such exercises.
Pointing towards inaccuracy in exit polls too, CPI-M MP Nilotpal Basu cited an instance of the last Assembly elections in West Bengal when the pollsters had predicted a win for the Congress-Trinamool combine in sharp contrast to the leftists registering an impressive two-thirds win.