Elections in Bihar are going on and Election Commission (EC) wants ban on opinion polls. It has written a letter to Law Ministry to bring out and ordinance banning opinion polls. EC thinks it can dictate terms to Law Ministry. It is for Law Ministry to decide whether it is subservient to EC.
There was no need for 7-phase polling in Bihar. It could have been on a single day. EC’s excuse was that it was done before. If EC can not hold polling for 243 Legislative Assembly seats on a single day it is good for nothing.
Voters are not swayed by opinion polls. Results of opinion polls differ from agency to agency. Many times they are proved wrong. There is ban on exit polls but they make it to TV channels as projections. At one time MARG used to give figures that used to be correct as a whole. Since some years nothing is heard of MARG. In 2004 all channels predicted NDA to get more Lok Sabha seats than UPA, 230 being the minimum number. NDA got 196 seats. UPA came to power.
It is not possible to enforce censorship on election matters as technology makes dissemination of information possible in many ways.
If any ordinance banning opinion polls is issued it can be challenged in courts.
The three wise men of EC should not underestimate the wisdom of Indian voters.