GUWAHATI: The Election Commission of India (ECI) has notified prohibition on the conduct of any exit poll and publishing or publicising by any means the result of any exit poll in connection with the Majuli by-poll which is scheduled on March 7, 2022.                                         

“ECI, under the provision of Sub-Section (1) of Section 126A of the Representation of People (RP) Act, 1951 having regard to the provisions of Sub-Section-(2) of the said Section, has notified the period between 7am and 6.30 pm on March 7, 2022, as the period wherein conducting any exit poll and publishing or publicising by means of the print or electronic media or dissemination in any other manner whatsoever, the result of any exit poll in connection with the by-election to the Assam Legislative Assembly-2022 for 99-Majuli (ST) Constituency, has been prohibited,” an official statement said on Friday.                   

It is further clarified in the notification that under Section 126 (1) (b) of the RP Act, 1951, displaying any election matter, including results of any opinion poll or any other poll survey, in any electronic media, would be prohibited during the period of 48 hours ending with the hours fixed for conclusion of poll for the byelection.

“Contravention of this ban shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both,” the statement said.

Assam chief electoral officer Nitin Khade has urged all concerned to scrupulously adhere to the directives of ECI regarding exit poll and opinion poll in the period, in the interest of smooth completion of the by-election process in the state.

Meanwhile, in accordance with the ECI guidelines under provisions of the Section 126 of Representation of Peoples’ Act, 1951, the election campaign in 99-Majuli (ST) constituency will end 48 hours prior to the end of the poll.

“Accordingly, no party or candidates will be allowed to campaign starting from 5p.m. of March 5 to 5 p.m. on March 7, 2022,” a statement said, adding that the “RP Act inter-alia prohibits any person to convene, hold, attend, join or address any public gatherings, meetings, processions etc. Further, display of election related matters through television, cinematograph or any other similar apparatus, is also prohibited.”

“Any person violating this order will attract the punishment of imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both,” it said.

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