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The social media was abuzz on Tuesday following reports of trademark violation in the TimesNow-ORG exit polls. In fact, the name 'ORG' used in this survey belongs to and is trademark of Operations Research Group (ORG) Pvt Ltd. On the other hand, the Times of India group channel clarified that ORG mentioned in its exit polls stands for Operations Research Guild owned by one Amit Roy, a former employee of ORG.
Debasish Banerjee, managing director of ORG, that owns the trademark was quoted as saying in a communication by TheNewsMinute.com that, “We have faced similar problems earlier from one of our ex employees named Amit Roy who has a company in the name of Operations Research Guild registered in Gujarat so that this outfit can present itself as ORG to exploit the Brand name. May we request you not to present this outfit as ORG but by its full name.”
Several people accused the news channel of rigging the exit polls and misleading viewers. Rajdeep Sardesai, editor-in-chief of CNN IBN, and Rahul Kanwal of Headlines Today were vocal on Twitter.
This allegation came after Times now channel conducted the Times Now-ORG exit polls related to the result of the Lok Sabha elections on 12th May. The Times Now-ORG poll suggested that the NDA would win 249 to 265 seats, which would leave it a little short of a majority though well within striking distance.
Amit Roy, who is one of the founding directors of ORG, branched out in 1994 and formed his own company called Operations Research Guild India Pvt Ltd (ORG India). Roy was quoted by TheNewsMinute.com as stating, “I am still a shareholder and one of the founder directors of ORG. But ORG India is my own company. I did the exit polls for News Nation, who then shared content with Times Now.”
Amit Roy says he has been doing exit polls since 1995, but this is the first time his company ORG India was doing an exit poll. He also expressed surprise over the comments made by other media honchos calling the poll fake, ”Some newspapers may have published the name as ORG, that is not anyone’s fault. Maybe there were mentions made by the channel and some panelists calling it ORG, but that again is not ORG India's fault. Calling the poll bogus or fake... those are very strong words to use. I don’t know if these people are using the word fake deliberately. Informed people are not used to using strong language. The same acronym two companies share does not make the poll fake.”