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India's ruling party demands opinion poll ban after expose

Published on Feb 27, 2014 12:57 AM

NEW DELHI (REUTERS) - India's ruling Congress party, which surveys suggest will be ousted from power in elections due by May, called on Wednesday for opinion polls to be banned during the campaign after a TV news report alleged survey data was routinely manipulated.

The News Express channel said a "sting operation" using hidden cameras had exposed malpractices by a clutch of polling agencies that included fudging numbers at the behest of political parties, sometimes for money.

Two large media groups said after the News Express report they would suspend polling usually carried out on their behalf.

The party of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty first made its call for polling to be banned in the world's largest democracy last year, but the opposition Hindu nationalist party called it an attempt to suppress bad news in the run-up to the election.

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