Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Amidst demands from various sections of the Congress leadership for the banning of opinion polls, the Bharatiya Janata Party`s poll candidate Narendra Modi in a blog on Monday urged to the masses that they should reject the Congress party both from opinion polls and while casting their votes.
`Today opinion polls, what next? The Gujarat Chief Minister wrote on his twitter handle.
In his blog, while appealing to the people, Modi wrote, "Reject the anti-democratic Congress not only in an opinion poll but at the polling booth as well."
"People are the best judge," he added.
"If you ask me, the solution is much simpler. Rather than cope with these authoritarian and subversion tactics of the Congress, it is better we reject the anti-democratic Congress not merely in an opinion poll but in the polling booth where it matters the most," Modi today wrote on his blog titled `Today Opinion Polls, What next`.
"A government that is in denial over where the Public Opinion really stands is doomed to be thrown out of power," Modi added.
Modi wrote this blog on the backdrop of a huge controversy which broke over putting a ban on the opinion polls.
Congress had last week written to the Election Commission favouring restriction on the publication and dissemination of opinion polls during polls while noting that the random surveys were `erroneous`, `lack credibility` and could be `manipulated` by vested interests.
"Those who have followed Indian politics and the workings of the Congress party after Independence would agree that the stand of the Congress party does not come as a surprise," Modi wrote.
"The biggest casualty of the Congress party`s arrogance while in power and its tendency to trample over institutions has been our fundamental right to free speech," he added.
The Gujarat Chief Minister also said that "to resort to extreme steps simply because the opinion polls do not tell what we may want to hear is utterly puerile."
"My concern is not limited to this proposal to ban opinion polls. Tomorrow, the Congress may seek a ban on articles, editorials and blogs during election time on the very same grounds. If they lose an election, they may then seek a ban on the Election Commission and if the courts do not support them then they may say why not ban the courts! After all, this is the party that resorted to imposing the Emergency in response to an inconvenient court verdict," Modi wrote in a stinging criticism of Centre.
On opinion polls, he wrote that he didn`t have any particular affinity for them.
"In fact, I am quite aware of their limitations. Our enlightened pollsters made assertions about how Gujarat will vote against BJP in 2002, then again in 2007 and even in 2012 with such great confidence only to be proven incorrect by the people," Modi wrote on his blog regarding opinion polls.
Meanwhile, BJP today said restricting opinion polls is neither constitutionally permissible nor desirable as they are a part of free speech and maintained that only losers demand a ban on them.
Countering the Congress demand for banning opinion polls, Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said though psephology is still maturing in India and some opinion polls do go wrong, it does not mean they should be banned.
"There are opinion polls and opinion polls. Some have acquired credibility and some can easily be ignored. Some are cases of even `participatory psephology`. Whatever may be the reliability or otherwise of these polls, can they be prohibited or banned?" Jaitley said in an article released by the BJP today.
Noting that political parties tend to rubbish opinion polls that predict adverse results, he said the loser demands a ban and the potential winner wants them to continue.
"A ban on such polls cannot be considered based on who is demanding the ban. Clearly, (opinion) polls are also a part of free speech. Restricting them is constitutionally neither permissible nor desirable," Jaitley said.
With PTI inputs