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BBC calls 'fake' survey showing BJP sweep in Karnataka assembly elections

Tuesday May 8, 2018 8:27 PM, Staff Reporter

Karnataka Survey

Mumbai: Broadcasting giant BBC on Tuesday termed ‘fake’ and baseless a survey which is circulated on WhatsApp and other social media platforms claiming to be commissioned by it.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) while disassociating itself from the survey which gives the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) a clean sweep in the Karnataka Assembly elections said not only the one which is circulated on the social media is fake but it did not conduct any pre-poll survey anywhere in India.

"This fake survey on Karnataka polls has been circulating on Whats App and claims to be from BBC News. We'd like to make it absolutely clear that it is #fake and does not come from the BBC. The BBC does not commission pre-election surveys in India.”, BBC said in a statement posted on Twitter using verified accounts @BBCNewsPR.

The fake survey circulated on WhatsApp with BBC logo shows BJP winning 135 seats, while giving 45 seats to JDS and just 35 seats to Congress.

Polling for the Karnataka elections is scheduled to be held on Saturday May 12. The ruling Congress and Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and Janata Dal (S) are in a triangular contest in the state. Though the BJP is trying hard to dislodge the ruling Congress from the state, it has so far not able to impress the voters. The Congress on the other hand is confident of retaining power in the state and Janata Dal (S) is expected to end at number three position.  

Interestingly, the BBC denial came a day after Premchand Palety, Chief Executive of Cfore, claimed that other pre-poll surveys done by some of the local media groups were also changed under pressure. He said the actual survey results were exactly opposite to what they had shown on TV.

"I hear all kinds of stories about these polls and from reliable sources. The actual result was something else and then they changed the figures under pressure. One poll says that the BJP is marginally ahead. I am very surprised. Almost all the polls are saying that the Congress is ahead but I’m surprised at the margins they are giving, in one case just 2%”, Palety said while talking to senior journalist and former Outlook Editor Krishna Prasad.

Palety was referring to the surveys that are predicting a hung house in Karnataka. Unlike, these surveys Palety after a tracker survey results of which he released on April 30 said Congress is in a strong position to win at least 120 seats in Karnataka.

Meanwhile, reacting on fake BBC survey circulating in the media, Karnataka’s IT minister, Priyank Kharge said that this was another example of a ‘classic BJP strategy’. “A classic BJP strategy, they have become masters of fake news. They rely heavily on the 2C strategy. Confuse & Con.”

The Karnataka election result will be declared on May 15. The state assembly has a total of 224 seats. A party needs to win at least 113 seats to form government.

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