New Delhi: The Election Commission on Thursday banned the publication or broadcast of any exit poll during the period of assembly elections in Karnataka.
The EC also prohibited the display of any election matter including results of any opinion poll or any other poll survey, in any electronic media, during the period of 48 hours before end of polling on May 5.
"Election matter has been defined as any matter intended or calculated to influence or affect the result of an election, violation of which under Section 126 of the Representation of People Act, 1951, is punishable with imprisonment up to a period of two years, or with fine or both," the EC said in an order issued today.
Karnataka will go to polls on May 5 to elect its 224- member Assembly and counting of votes will be held on May 8. The tenure of current Karnataka assembly expires on June 3. While 36 constituencies are reserved for SCs, 15 are reserved for STs in the state.
The EC order said TV/Radio channels and cable networks should ensure that the contents of the programmes do not contain any material that may be construed as promoting or prejudicing the prospect of any particular party or candidate.
It said newspapers are not expected to indulge in unhealthy election campaigns or exaggerated reports about any candidate or party or incident during the elections.
It also clarified that election campaign along communal or caste lines is banned under the election rules.
The order said the Press is not expected to indulge in canvassing of a particular candidate or party and will not accept or publish any advertisement at the cost of public exchequer regarding achievements of a party or government in power.