Video caption falsely claims that a BJP MLA was found transporting EVMs in Karnataka

By: Ankita Kulkarni
May 12 2023

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Video caption falsely claims that a BJP MLA was found transporting EVMs in Karnataka


The Verdict False

A BJP member was not present in the car carrying reserve electronic voting machines.

Claim ID cf23847b


The 2023 Karnataka Assembly elections concluded with 72.67 percent voter turnout on May 10, according to the provisional figures released by the Election Commission. Following polling, a widely circulated video on social media claims that a mob in Karnataka caught a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member of legislative assembly (MLA) transporting electronic voting machines (EVM) in his car and destroyed them. 

In the video, people conversing in Kannada are removing the car's number plates, throwing the voting machines to the ground, and destroying them. Later visuals show that the mob toppled the car. The exact video was also posted by the social media coordinator of the Indian Overseas Congress Vijay Thottathil on Twitter. Sharing the video, Thottathil wrote, "Locals in Karnataka caught a BJP MLA with an EVM & did what should have been done !! What is the reason to conduct poll and fool people if they are getting hold of EVM machines !."

However, Logically Facts found that the video is miscaptioned.

In Fact

We found a reply posted by the official account of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Karnataka on Twitter. Responding to one such viral video, the election commission clarified, "In Vijayapura district, villagers stopped sector officer's vehicle which was carrying RESERVED EVMs and damaged 2 control units, 2 ballot units. Sector officer was also man handled. 23 people arrested (sic)." A sector officer is an election commission official who is appointed to supervise the polling stations and is responsible for ensuring that all the materials and equipment have reached the polling stations.   

The district collector of Vijayapur, Karnataka, also posted a reply to a similar video calling the video false.

It is important to note that reserve EVMs are spare backup machines kept for emergencies. The machines that were destroyed by the villagers in the district were not the ones in which votes were cast.

The Hindu reported the incident occurred after three officers loaded reserve EVMs into a car to be transported to another voting center. People got the impression "that officials were taking the EVMs away before completing the polling process. They overturned the car and broke the EVMs." 

The above evidence also clarifies that reserve EVMs were held by a section officer and not by a BJP MLA or a leader, as claimed on social media. 

The Verdict

The video shows villagers destroying reserve voting machines that a section officer was transporting. No BJP MLA or leader was involved in the incident. Therefore, we have marked the claim as false. 

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