BBC Denies Conducting Pre-Poll Survey in India, Calls it Fake News

The fake survey predicts that the BJP will have a considerable edge over the Congress in 224-seat Assembly.

3 min read
BBC Denies Conducting Pre-Poll Survey in India, Calls it Fake News
Hindi Female

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The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), on Monday, 7 May, tweeted out a confirmation that it had not commissioned any kind of survey that would indicate that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would win the Karnataka elections with 135 seats.

A WhatsApp message claiming that the BJP will win 135 seats in Karnataka citing a ‘Janta Ki Baat’ survey had earlier joined the long list of fake surveys ahead of voting on 12 May.

The message, which went viral on WhatsApp and Facebook, went a step ahead and included a URL of the BBC in a bid to lend itself legitimacy. However, the link (  leads to the BBC’s India page.

The fake survey gave Congress 35 seats, which is lower than the 45 seats Janata Dal (Secular) is expected to win in the assembly election, according to to the message.

The biggest giveaway of the message being false is that the seat share predicted by it (135+45+35+19) adds up to 234 whereas Karnataka has only 224 constituencies.

The fake message twisted an opinion poll conducted by Jan Ki Baat which announced its results four days ago. The opinion poll by Jan ki Baat was an on ground survey conducted by speaking to 1.2 lakh respondents in the Karnataka.

According to the actual survey, BJP could win 102-108 seats with Congress bagging only 72-74 seats followed by JDS at 42-44 seats.

The survey further predicted that even though the BJP will have a considerable edge over the Congress in 224 seat assembly, there wouldn’t be a majority for any party with chances of a hung assembly highly plausible.

The fake WhatsApp message twisted these results and made up a fictitious Janta ki Baat survey and claiming a sample size of 10.20 lakh respondents as opposed to only 1.2 lakh respondents in the original survey.

According to the fake poll, BJP is set to get 125-135 seats making it the single largest party with a “clear majority over Congress” which will only get 35 seats, it claims. The fake message also states, “PM Modi, Amit Shah ,Yogi Adityanath and former Karnataka CM Yeddyurappa are campaigning relentlessly for the BJP in the state.”

(This story was first published on BOOMLive and has been republished with permission.)

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