Axis My India Open To Probe Over Allegations Of Stock Market Manipulation Through Exit Polls: MD Pradeep Gupta

    Axis My India Open To Probe Over Allegations Of Stock Market Manipulation Through Exit Polls: MD Pradeep Gupta

    Pradeep Gupta, chairman and managing director of Axis My India, said on Saturday that he is open to investigations following allegations that exit polls were used for stock market manipulation, news agency PTI reported. Gupta stated that specific regulations for pollsters would improve business practices. Opposition parties and civil society groups have called for thorough investigations, including by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), after the stock markets surged following exit polls predicting a smooth win for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), only to fall sharply when the actual results showed the party falling far short of a clear majority. 

    In an interview with PTI editors, Gupta said that he has been advocating for regulations for pollsters for five years. He described as “childish” the demands for banning exit polls, arguing that citizens and organisations have a right to know election results and that banning exit pills would be “ineffective”. 

    “We have no connection with the stock, but I welcome these allegations because our data and system are foolproof. Any investigation will allow us to demonstrate our methods for predicting exit polls. I support the demand as it will allow us to show our credentials,” Gupta told PTI. 

    Regarding a possible probe by a JPC or SEBI, Gupta stated, “I am open to facing all kinds of investigations”.

    Addressing claims of benefiting from stock market movements, Gupta clarified, “Axis My India has no demat account. It is a limited company, not listed, and has no external investment. My personal investment in stocks since April has been only Rs 35,000. Where have I benefited?”

    Gupta also denied allegations that Axis My India conducted exit polls for foreign investors and shared different results with them. “We have never been approached by any FII, nor have we worked for any foreign investors. We have not conducted any exit polls surveys for them,” he said. 

    Pradeep Gupta Calls Demands Of Exit Poll Ban ‘Childish’ 

    Describing the demands for banning exit polls as “childish,” Gupta argued that regulations for pollsters would enhance business operations and credibility. He noted that 70 per cent of Axis My India’s clients are corporate, including major names like Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and denied any conflict of interest with exit polls. 

    “First, they called exit polls unscientific; now they want them banned. These are childish talks. Every citizen and organisation wants to know the election results, and banning exit polls would serve no purpose. Exit polls help political parties analyse the results,” Gupta added. 

    He further explained that the company’s business with corporate clients remains unaffected by their election predictions. “Corporate clients have given us business for our work, not based on our election predictions,” he said. 

    Gupta emphasised the need for regulations, noting the difficulties faced by pollsters in the field due to a lack of clear guidelines. “We have been seeking regulations for five years. Our team often faces suspicion and questions about their legitimacy. We wrote to the home ministry and were directed to various ministries, but nothing has moved forward. Regulations are essential,” he said. 

    ‘There Is Nothing To Hide’: Gupta 

    Axis My India has been conducting exit polls since 2013 and claims to have correctly predicted 61 out of 65 elections. Gupta also addressed why the company does not disclose political clients. He said that they do disclose client details when they (clients) agree. For example, in the 2019 Haryana Assembly Elections, they predicted a hung assembly for the BJP, which was accurate and is included in a Harvard Business School case study with disclosure. 

    “Whatever the client agrees, we make a disclosure. There is nothing to hide,” Gupta told PTI. 

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