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NEWS|Politics 
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As the elections approach, the debate over opinion polls and exit polls is unlikely to die down any time soon. After a sting operation on the C-voter survey, a pre-poll agency whose surveys are used by various news outlets, questions were raised on both the legitimacy and necessity of these surveys.Political parties have for long opposed opinion polls as and when they found the results going against them. When the pre-poll surveys before state elections predicted a Congress defeat, the party issued an advisory to its workers asking them to not turn up in TV shows based on these polls.In a debate moderated by Rajdeep Sardesai on CNN IBN, right after the C-voter incident, sociologist and political analyst Dipankar Gupta said that just because there have been instances of manipulation, doesn't mean the process should be banned yet.Columnist Vivek Dehejia in his column in the Business Standard counters opinions expressed by other journalists which emphasised that it would be foolish to say that opinion polls actually influenced the voter. Dehejia cites a research by Manasa Patnam which looks at exit polls in India and says that voters might actually be influenced by exit polls.Summarising Patnam's findings, Dehejia writes:"If early voters heavily favour party "A" over "B" - merely because early-voting regions contain a disproportionate share of "A" supporters - there might be a momentum swing in favour of "A", which would not have occurred if a different region had voted first. On the other hand, heavy early support for "A" could galvanise supporters of "B" voting in later phases of the election to come and support their party in greater numbers, and so there might be the opposite impact."If that is indeed the case, then the argument against the existence of opinion polls gains in legitimacy. However, like Gupta pointed out, instead of banning the polls completely, there is merit in appointing an independent regulatory body to keep a watch in these polls.But exit polls aren't the only medium to influence opinion and spread rumours among voters.In this age of social media, it wouldn't be too difficult to make impressions, courtesy the mammoth internet armies most parties have. Word-of-mouth, village meets, informal gatherings - there are more than just one means through which ideas can be spread among voters.Read the complete Business Standard article here.Manasa Patnam's original paper on how opinion polls can influence voters can be found here.

Babus, RSS, BJP: One-time Modi favourite Smriti Irani is pissing everyone off

from firstpost

Babus, RSS, BJP: One-time Modi favourite Smriti Irani is pissing everyone off

The babus are upset, the RSS is seething and the BJP isn't in any mood to defend her.Smriti Irani, once seen as a favourite of Prime Minister Narendra Modi after being given the charge of the Human Re...


Act against corrupt partymen in UP: BJP tells Mulayam Singh Yadav

from firstpost

Act against corrupt partymen in UP: BJP tells Mulayam Singh Yadav

Lucknow: The BJP on Monday sought action from Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav against corrupt parliamentarians and legislators of his party.The jibe came a day after Yadav at an event o...

Sahara backs Sebi's claim to bring back $13-mn from jet sale proceeds

from firstpost

Sahara backs Sebi's claim to bring back $13-mn from jet sale proceeds

Engaged in a long-drawn legal battle with Sebi, Sahara has supported the regulator's claim before a US court to bring back nearly $13 million from sale proceeds of a business jet of the crisis-hit gro...

Arvind Kejriwal to review departmental work after office hours; officials fuming

from firstpost

Arvind Kejriwal to review departmental work after office hours; officials fuming

New Delhi: Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal's directive to all department heads to do a presentation of their work after office hours has left many officials fuming.The review of their work, which for t...

AAP's Ashutosh slams Yadav, Bhushan for 'conspiring' against Arvind Kejriwal

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AAP's Ashutosh slams Yadav, Bhushan for 'conspiring' against Arvind Kejriwal

New Delhi: In a scathing attack on party dissidents Yogendra Yadav and Prashat Bhushan, AAP leader Ashutosh on Sunday came down strongly on them for "conspiring" and attempting to remove Arv...

Reports of snooping on Netaji's kin by Nehru govt are motivated news plants: Congress

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Reports of snooping on Netaji's kin by Nehru govt are motivated news plants: Congress

New Delhi: Congress on Sunday accused the BJP and Narendra Modi government of running a "sinister campaign" against national icons as it dubbed reports of snooping on the family of Netaji Su...

CBI doing its job: BJP rebuts Mamata allegations on PM Modi being behind notices to TMC

from firstpost

CBI doing its job: BJP rebuts Mamata allegations on PM Modi being behind notices to TMC

Kolkata: The BJP on Sunday rebutted West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's allegation that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was behind the CBI notices to the TMC, saying the probe agency was only do...