People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 17

April 25, 2004

                   EC Must Regulate Exit Polls: CPI(M)


The Communist Party of India (Marxist) felt that the spate of exit polls conducted and revealed after the first phase of polls amounted to "electoral intervention" and sought the Election Commission’s intervention in regulating these polls. The Party made it clear that these polls sought to influence voters in the coming phases of the elections.


CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Prakash Karat and Party leader in Rajya Sabha Nilotpal Basu while addressing a press conference here on Wednesday made this assertion and demanded that the EC should act to see that there is some sort of regulation of these polls for the remaining phases of voting. Prakash Karat reiterated the Party stand that such polls should not be made public till the last phase of polling is completed. "The exit polls lack scientific basis and the spate of polls which have appeared yesterday clearly showed how contradictory they were. The EC should have exercised its powers under Article 324 and issued orders preventing these polls being made public till the last phase was completed", said Karat. He refused to comment on these polls, saying "we don’t give any credence to these polls".




Prakash Karat has expressed concern over the security situation in Jammu & Kashmir where widespread attacks were taking place against all political parties in the fray. Recently three CPI(M) activists, including state committee member Ghulam Nabi were injured in the attack by the militants while campaigning in Anantnag." There is no scope for complacency and the Election commission and the state government should take more appropriate measures for security, " he said.




Prakash Karat felt that what Vajpayee had stated in Nagpur – coalitions are a burden – was a mere expression of what is in the heart of the BJP/RSS leadership. He said the BJP leadership would like to do away with the coalition as they really treat it as a burden. Referring to the meek reaction of NDA partners to the prime minister’s statement, Karat said it revealed their plight. He felt the controversy sorrounding the PM statement would remain alive in this elections, as it deals with what the BJP fundamentally aims for – formation of a government where they will have complete control to carry out unhindered their agenda. He said the fact that they brought into the NDA agenda all the issues dear to the BJP was an indication of things to come.


Answering questions, Karat said the TDP-BJP combine in Andhra was losing ground not just in Telengana only, as was being projected by a section of media, but also across the state.


To another question, he replied that after the elections are over all the anti-BJP parties would sit together and discuss the possibilities of forming an alternative coalition government at the centre.

Nilotpal Basu welcomed the decision of the Election Commission to the take note of the oil price situation, where a heavy price rise is in the offing. The government has delayed announcement till after the elections and that would effect other commodities too, he said.