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Opinion polls

Sir, — The Attorney General, Soli Sorabjee, by describing the ban on exit and opinion polls as unconstitutional, has shown respect for journalistic freedom. By unanimously proposing a ban on poll surveys, all political parties seem to want control over the power of the pen.

Sandeep Datta,

New Delhi

* * *

Sir, — It is ironical that for the conduct of free and fair elections measures to curb freedom of speech and expression are being proposed. The next step would be the vetting of campaign speeches by candidates. The Election Commission cannot assume dictatorial powers to safeguard democracy.

R.V. Chandramouli,

Chennai

* * *

Sir, — Opinion polls have become common worldwide. They help us connect. Of course, they can be abused, like anything else.

Gaurav Trivedi,

New Delhi

* * *

Sir, — The political parties' plea that exit polls may impact on voters is not correct. Asking for a ban is an attempt at curbing freedom of expression. The parties do not want the people to know how they are estimated by a cross section of voters. Instead, they want to clamp down on the information made available by the media.

S. Raghothaman,

Chennai

* * *

Sir, — It is not for the Election Commission to tell the citizen what information is right for him or her.

P.V. Maiya,

Bangalore

* * *

Sir, — Improving the quality of opinion polls would do more justice to the cause rather than losing faith in the wisdom of the people and denying them the right to be informed.

Ranjit Kumar,

Danapur Cantonment, Bihar

Sir, — An opinion poll is as unconstitutional as asking for votes in the name of religion and caste.

V. Krishnan,

Chennai

* * *

Sir, — Agreed, every citizen has a constitutional right to free and fearless expression of his views. But it is no one's fundamental right to say that `this is the view of the people', which is exactly what the pollsters are doing. Further, we do not know if these polls are being conducted in a truthful, scientific and impartial manner.

G. Radhakrishnan,

Thiruvananthapuram

* * *

Sir, — In view of the fact that elections are held in different parts of the country over a period of time, the results of exit polls can in some instances influence certain segments of the electorate.

K.L. Ramachander,

Chennai

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