Hyderabad: The West Bengal elections will be conducted in a phase-wise manner from 27 March to 29 April. The counting of votes will take place on 2 May, while Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Assembly elections will take place in a single phase on 6 April.
As with a lot of information about polls that gets shared on social media, a few images claiming to be assessment reports by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) are going viral about West Bengal and Tamil Nadu election results.
Dated 22 March 2021, the document stated that 'As per IB's final on-ground assessment, the TMC is leading with a huge margin in the upcoming West Bengal Assembly elections 2021. The TMO is expected to win 204+ seats in the state. Barring the two main political parties in the region, TMC and BJP, all other regional parties in the state failed to make any significant gains.'
The on-ground survey was conducted in randomly selected villages between 10 March and 21 March.
The document relating to Tamil Nadu state elections is dated 23 March 2021. It stated that 'As per IB's final round of the on-ground assessment, the DMK alliance is leading in the Tamil Nadu state Assembly elections by a huge margin. The DMK+ is expected to win 178+ seats in the state.'
Both documents have 'Confidential' written on them and state that they are for internal purposes only.
The claim that the viral documents are surveys done by the Intelligence Bureau is FALSE.
The Intelligence Bureau does not conduct such surveys or publish them. It deals with internal and external security issues. IB is an internal intelligence agency of India which is used to gather intelligence from within India and also execute counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism tasks. The IB comprises employees from law enforcement agencies such as the Indian Police Service (IPS) or Indian Revenue Service (IRS) and the military.
The Intelligence Bureau, considered the oldest surviving intelligence organisation in the world, serves as India's internal security agency responsible for mitigating domestic threats. Although the exact functions of the agency remain unidentified, it is known that the agency is responsible for counterterrorism, counterintelligence, intelligence collection in border areas, infrastructure protection, and anti-secession activities. IB works with other Indian intelligence and law enforcement organisations, particularly RAW (Research and Analysis Wing - India's external intelligence agency) and the newly created Defence Intelligence Agency. The agency also maintains partnerships with foreign agencies, including security agencies in the UK, the US, and Israel.
According to a report by India Today, the IB is the one tasked to find out 'if you have a stash of cash hidden under your bed'. It must know that and more for it to fulfill the responsibilities given to it.
The agency gathers intelligence on everything under the sun. It can be about terrorists crossing over into the country, an attempt is made to assassinate you (yes, even if you aren't a public figure), the political goings-on in the country attempts being made to manipulate the stock market, and something as vague as what may be the newspaper headlines tomorrow.
What does the IB do with the information it gathers? It sends them to the government. It is for the government to then direct the intelligence to an appropriate agency, which, by the way, can include the CBI, for further action.
Election results are not dealt with and also such surveys are not conducted by the bureau. The bureau did not release any such document to the public.
A few leaders and journalists have also shared the viral images stating that they are fake.
We did not find any such reports published on the Twitter account of the Intelligence Bureau.
Hence, the claim that the viral documents are surveys done by Intelligence Bureau is FALSE.