Opinion poll “mockery” of democracy: JD(U)

New Delhi: Trashing opinion polls as a "mockery" of democracy, JD (U) today wrote to the Election Commission alleging money plays a major role in such surveys and stating that his party is "completely against" it.
The former NDA ally has thus joined other parties, including Congress, in seeking a ban or regulation on opinion polls during the election process while BJP opposed it vehemently saying the ruling party was favouring prohibition fearing defeat.
"…Our party has always rejected the idea of opinion poll…Opinion poll is a mockery…I may point out here that money plays a major role in surveys in the name of opinion polls," JD(U) President Sharad Yadav said in a two-page letter to Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath.
In the letter, Yadav said except two major parties Congress and BJP, none, including regional parties can, spend the "enormous" amount of money that goes behind such surveys.
"Vote of an individual has been a great strength in a democracy, which is slowly and slowly being captured by moneyed people," he said adding opinion poll is one of the measures used for this.
Registering his "unhappines" over the on-going debate on opinion polls instead of just "rejecting" it, Yadav apprehended if discussions on such subjects went on, there will be a "great threat to democracy".
"In view of the above, I am completely against the idea of opinion polls in this country, which our party has been demanding for a long time," the JD (U) President said.
As the Election Commission's proposal triggered a major debate on the issue, BJP, widely projected by pre-poll surveys to do well in coming assembly polls and Lok Sabha elections later, attacked Congress for its demand saying, a "loser" cannot seek to alter the rules of the game.
However, BJP ally, Akali Dal as well as BSP, SP and DMK supported the ban on opinion polls while CPI(M) and CPI favoured regulating such polls, especially once the elections are announced and the model code of conduct comes into force.