New Delhi: Main Opposition BJP has not endorsed the Election Commission`s proposal to impose restrictions on opinion polls saying it would go against the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression.
"The grounds on which the ECI is considering restriction do not get covered by the postulates prescribed in Art 19(2) of the Constitution," BJP said in a letter to the Commission after the poll panel had sought opinions of parties on the issue.
The party, widely projected by pre-poll surveys to do well in the forthcoming assembly polls and Lok Sabha elections later, said that none of these stipulated considerations seems to figure in the recommendation of the EC to restrict opinion polls.
"The very use of the expression `opinion` makes it appear that the poll outcome is hardly related to the conduct of the opinion poll," it said.
The BJP said opinion polls are fundamentally different from exit polls as the sample used in opinion poll consists of people who may or may not vote, whereas exit polls consist only of persons who had actually participated in the voting.
"It is this difference which motivated the law makers to permit the dissemination of exit poll results only after the polling in all the constituencies gets completed, such that the dissemination does not influence the voters in the exercise of their franchise.
"... The exit polls appear to breach the fundamental conditionality of secrecy that governs the exercise of franchise in general elections," the BJP said.