With elections to the Karnataka assembly just around the corner, numerous pre-poll surveys have crawled out of the woodwork. One such survey is circulating on social media with the logo of BBC News attached to it. According to this opinion poll by Janta Ki Baat, the BJP is set to win Karnataka with a simple majority. The poll predicts 135 seats for the BJP, 45 for JD(S) and 35 for the Congress party in the 225 member house.
Social media users have pointed out that this ‘survey’ is circulating on WhatsApp.
This is a fake survey on Karnataka polls doing the rounds on @WhatsApp using the @BBCNews @BBCWorld credentials. WhatsApp’s secret chambers are turning out to be the most dangerous. @boomlive_in @soutikBBC @siddaramaiah @INCKarnataka @BJP4Karnataka pic.twitter.com/bF6IlDVeTa
— Sugata Srinivasaraju (@sugataraju) May 6, 2018
This forward is from my engineering batch’s Whatsapp group. There’s no such survey. Obviously the numbers are bunkum. It’s not on BBC (the link goes to its home page, I suspect to add credibility via its logo). Amazing how fake news is evolving. pic.twitter.com/D1tzLl1zAq
— Rohin Dharmakumar (@r0h1n) May 7, 2018
Alt News fact checked this claim and found it to be untrue. There is no such survey that has been released, nor could we trace an organisation called Janta Ki Baat which has conducted such a survey. There is no reference whatsoever to this opinion poll on the BBC website, and the logo has probably been added to lend credibility to the numbers. That the BBC has not conducted any such survey was confirmed on Twitter by Trushar Barot, who is a Digital Launch Editor with the organisation.
— Trushar Barot (@Trushar) May 7, 2018
Also, the number of seats predicted for each political party present a discrepancy. There are 224 elected seats in the assembly but the numbers in this survey add up to 234 (135+45+35+19). In all likelihood, this ‘survey’ seeks to pass off as a survey by Jan Ki Baat which was conducted some days back.
Opinion polls are seen as a useful tool by political parties to try and sway voter opinion days before the state goes to the polls. Earlier too, such attempts have been observed by political parties who look to subtly influence voters and project a wave of support in favour of a party or leader. Insofar as the Karnataka assembly election is concerned, three opinion polls- Times Now-VMR, ABP-CSDS and India Today-Karvy have predicted a hung assembly whereas according to a poll by C Fore, Congress will retain Karnataka with 118-128 seats.