Survey thy name is Lagadapati or vice versa. Former Congress MP Lagadapati Rajagopal who has been passionately conducting election surveys since 2007 has, to his fortune, become popular with being the accurate pollster.
Interestingly, for quite a few years, fake surveys, claiming to be surveys by Lagadapati, began spreading like wildfire, especially in social media.
What’s the fate of the TRS if the elections are held right now? Will Congress wrest power from TRS? Is Modi going to lose power? Is it Rahul wave across India?
These are the type of headlines that are given to the fake surveys to draw the eyeballs of the millions of social media visitors. In some cases, mainstream newspapers, TV news channels and some websites are publishing them either willfully or inadvertently. Those publicising them wittingly have a definite agenda, while those carrying them unwittingly are unable to check the veracity of the surveys.
A new trend in these fake surveys is that they take the name of popular market research agencies. They might not have conducted the survey at all. They ascribe the fake surveys even to popular media organisations.
With elections in Telangana round the corner, so many surveys are finding a place in several websites and media platforms. The Congress and Grand Alliance sympathisers are releasing quite a few surveys which crow false results and doctored outcomes.
While they don’t follow any rules for the survey, the sample sizes, age groups, income groups, social background, and all others would all be fake.
Another easiest survey type is plagiarism and alteration. For instance, an official survey that indicates a victory for TRS is released by a reputable agency a few days ago. The fakes come up with the results of the survey by interchanging the result in favour of Kutami, showing TRS in poor light.
Funnily, brazenly though, they get caught easily and the survey would be exposed as a shallow and doctored one. How? They would indicate seats like Siddipet, Gajwel, Sircilla, Huzurabad, or other seats where Chief Minister KCR, Irrigation Minister Harish Rao, IT Minister KTR or Finance Minister Etela Rajender are seeking a re-election.
Some surveys, claimed to have been done, online or IVRS also come up with funny results and predict that the State is tilting towards the Kutami. The reason: the TDP, which is part of the Kutami, heavily banks on its party database and conduct the survey or concoct it. For, TDP has the necessary paraphernalia to execute such back office exercises.
The denouement of the soap opera of surveys surely points to the victory of the kutami in Telangana. Interestingly, the penetration of the internet, including though Mobile phones, is not more than 30 percent in the State.
So, people beware of our Salim Fekus.