Hyderabad: A screenshot of a news bulletin allegedly showing ABP News exit poll results of phase 1 elections in West Bengal is circulating on social media. It shows the Trinamool Congress winning 23-26 seats, BJP one-three seats, and the Left-Congress alliance 0-1 seats.
One Facebook user shared the photo and wrote, "According to ABP News , in the first phase of Bengal Polls All India Trinamool Congress got 23-26 seats out of 30. We can see a clear picture that Mamata Banerjee will take oath as C.M of W.B for the third time on 2nd May. #TMCSweepsPhase1 #BengalRejectsBJP".
NewsMeter has found that the photo has been morphed.
The Chief Election Commissioner, Sunil Arora, had earlier announced that West Bengal elections would take place in eight phases from 27 March to 29 April. The polls will be held for 294 seats in the state. The counting of votes will be held on 2 May.
According to a press note released by the Election Commission on 26 March, conducting exit polls and publishing the result by means of print or electronic media or in any other manner is prohibited between 7:00 a.m on 27 March (Saturday) and 7.30 p.m on 29 April (Thursday) for the ongoing elections and by-elections.
This indicates that ABP News is highly unlikely to publish exit poll results of phase 1 elections in Bengal. Furthermore, ABP News clarified on its official Twitter page that the screenshot is fake. "It is completely fake, beware of such posts and get connected for true and accurate news," reads the tweet.
Hence, it is clear that the viral screenshot is FAKE as ABP News has not published any exit poll results for phase 1 elections in Bengal.