Vinod Dua and Swaraj Express violated the model code of conduct by airing the exit poll after the 3rd phase of the election. As per EC's guidelines, no opinion/exit polls can be published during the election.
Senior journalist Vinod Dua has been the topic of discussion for various media houses since the past few days. This is because of a video posted by the channel “News Platform”. News Platform is an online news portal started by Gurdeep Singh Sappal, the ex-CEO of Rajya Sabha TV in the year 2018. The video was dated 30th April 2019, it was about the phase 3 elections and had Vinod Dua (host) discussing the exit polls in a live stream on YouTube. Many people were displeased by this and demanded the Election Commission of India to take strict actions against Vinod Dua and the channel as releasing and discussing the exit polls was a violation of the MCC of elections.
A Twitter user @zankrut wrote: "Open Violation of EC Guidelines by a news channel @SwarajExpress and it's anchor @VinodDua7 by showing Exit Polls on air. Strictest action shall be taken against them @ECISVEEP"
The video was later deleted by the channel but not before it was shared by several social media pages. The video is still live on a facebook page Haath Uthao. It seems it was live streamed on this page on 2nd May.
In the video, Vinod Dua was seen talking about the seats NDA will be getting after the 3 phases. He mentioned that the number of seats that NDA will win will be reduced drastically. Out of the 303 seats for which the three phases were conducted, NDA will only win 66 seats, which is a very less numbered compared to the 134 seats won by them in the 2014 elections. ON contrary UPA will experience a rise in the seats, a total of 137 seats in 2019, unlike only 49 seats won in the year 2014. The data provided in the video was highly inspired by the data analysis of another online portal “NewsClick”.
Many people are questioning the Election Commission of India as no strict action against the channel or Vinod Dua has been taken after a week of the incident. According to the guidelines published by the ECI for the year 2009, no opinion/exit polls can be published during the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for conclusion of poll. This restriction has been applied by the ECI since the year 1998 to avoid deflection of votes as people tend to vote for the party most likely to win the elections, hence manipulating people’s decision and eventually the final results.
Conclusion: Even though the video was deleted by the channel, the MCC was broken and video is still available on social media. What awaits now is the whether election commission of India will take any action against the channel and Vinod Dua or not.
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