On 5 November soon after the nation experienced a considerable frenzy over a series of exit polls on Bihar elections, a massive controversy erupted over a channel’s decision to drop its exit poll predictions on Bihar elections despite having scheduled and announced it earlier.
The media group in question is the Network 18 group, which owns channels such as CNN-IBN and IBN7.
Both CNN-IBN and IBN7 actively promoted their upcoming exit polls scheduled for the 5 November evening. But, questions began to be asked after the media group dropped the idea without explaining any reason.
Conspiracy theories started dominating the social media discussions with some suspecting that the media group owned by the Reliance chief Mukesh Ambani decided not to air the exit poll because its predictions were shockingly in favour of the Nitish Kumar led Grand Alliance.
The group’s partner agency Axis-MyIndia, nonetheless, went ahead and posted its findings on its website. According to its predictions, the Grand Alliance was indeed expected to win a whopping 183 seats leaving the BJP-led NDA with just 70 seats.
CNN-IBN and Axis-MyIndia had given huge majority to the JDU-led alliance in one of its earlier poll surveys broadcast on 8 October.
We don’t know the reason behind this sudden decision to drop such an important editorial, but social media users felt that the channel simply didn’t want to run an exit poll, whose predictions were so unfavourable to the BJP. The channel instead aired the predictions made by exit polls broadcast on its competitor channels.
Here is a snapshot of twitter conversation on this subject;
— हम भारत के लोग (@India_Policy) November 6, 2015
— Navin Khaitan (@navinkhaitan) November 6, 2015
So axis gave 180 to nitish and it was censored by a channel . True ?
— Rana Ayyub (@RanaAyyub) November 6, 2015
Axis survey, which gives BJP 70 seats maximum, makes a bunch of questionable assumptions really caste composition: https://t.co/CcUhz9Rezf
— Mihir Sharma (@mihirssharma) November 6, 2015
It isn't about in whose favour the exit poll results went as per Axis but more of the dishonesty on the part of cnn ibn&ibn7 not to air it.
— Priyanka Chaturvedi (@priyankac19) November 6, 2015
Pic 1 : Axis Exit Poll – Delhi closest to result
Pic 2 : Axis Exit Poll predicts 180 for Maha gathbandhan.
— AAP Ka Mehta (@DaaruBaazMehta) November 6, 2015
— कोमल 🙂 (@Komal_Indian) November 6, 2015
That Axis exit poll is absurd; sound editorial judgment not to run it.
— Rohit Pradhan (@Retributions) November 6, 2015
Congress – 30/41 & BJP – 40/160 ! What did the Axis Poll group smoke before releasing this exit poll?
— SG Suryah (@SuryahSG) November 6, 2015