New Delhi: The Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday issued a notification for publishing or telecasting of exit polls for upcoming assembly and by-elections. The poll panel reiterated that there would be ban on the exit polls from 7 AM to 6.30 PM on October 21 during the Vidhan Sabha elections in Haryana, Maharashtra and by-elections to 51 Assembly constituencies of 17 states.

The Election Commission, in a detailed statement, said, “As per the provisions of Section 126A of The Representation of the People Act, 1951 (in short R.P. Act, 1951), there shall be restrictions on conduct of any exit poll and publication and dissemination of result of such exit polls during the period notified by the EC.”

Shephali Sharan, official spokesperson of the poll body said, “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 polls in the respective polling areas in connection with aforesaid general elections and bye-elections.”

Both Maharashtra and Haryana are currently governed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In the 2014 Assembly elections in Maharashtra, the BJP failed to get majority on its own but emerged as the single-largest party by winning 122 seats of the total 288. Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena came second with 63 seats. This year, BJP-Sena will contest the polls together.

Meanwhile in Haryana, the BJP had bagged 47 seats of the total 90 in the Assembly polls 2014 and Manohar Lal Khattar became the saffron party’s first-ever Chief Minister in the state. The Congress had bagged only 15 seats.