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Election Commission says exit polls can be issued on 12 May

LiveMint logoLiveMint 09-05-2014 Reuters

Mumbai/New Delhi: News organizations will be allowed to release their exit polls for general elections after 6.30pm on Monday, the last day of voting, Election Commission officials told Reuters.

TV stations had earlier on Friday reported the commission would not allow exit polls to be unveiled until next Friday, the day on which official results are due. All the channels cited a report by the Press Trust of India.

The initial reports of a delay in exit polls had jolted investors, since markets had rallied on Friday—with shares hitting record highs—on optimism that those exit polls would show the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) winning a majority.

Akshay Rout, an Election Commission official, confirmed that exit polls would be allowed to be issued from 6.30pm onwards on 12 May, half hour after the last polling closes.

Despite market optimism that the BJP, which is seen by investors as being business friendly, would win the election, exit polls proved unreliable in 2004 and 2009.

Some brokerages are raising margin requirements, sources told Reuters, to guard against any potential surprises.

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