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EC asked to consult parties afresh on opinion poll ban

Government has thrown the ball back into the court of the Election Commission on the issue of banning opinion polls, asking it to hold fresh consultations with political parties on the issue.

The Law Ministry has written back to the Commission and asked it to seek the views of various parties again on the issue of opinion poll ban, it is learnt.

Highly-placed sources said law minister Kapil Sibal has returned the file on banning opinion polls, despite Attorney General G E Vahanvati’s opinion favouring the EC proposal.

The Law Ministry had sought the AG’s opinion on the issue and the Attorney General had supported the Commission’s proposal to ban publication and broadcast of opinion polls between the announcement of election schedule and the final phase of polling. At present, there is a ban on opinion polls starting from 48 hours before voting.

However, Sibal sent the file back to EC asking it to consult the parties again and seek their views afresh on the issue.

Sibal had earlier said ‘no government should ban opinion polls without consulting political parties’.
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