2019 video of Andhra Pradesh politician destroying an EVM wrongly shared as recent

By: Annet Preethi Furtado
May 28 2024

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2019 video of Andhra Pradesh politician destroying an EVM wrongly shared as recent

Social media posts claim Andhra Pradesh politician Madhusudan Gupta smashed an EVM recently. (Source: X/Modified by Logically facts)


The Verdict Misleading

The video shows then-Jana Sena Party candidate Madhusudan Gupta smashing an EVM during the 2019 Andhra Pradesh polls and Parliament elections.

Claim ID 6a8c0f1b

What's the claim?

A video allegedly showing Madhusudan Gupta, a politician from the South Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, smashing an electronic voting machine (EVM) is going viral on social media with the claim the incident captured in the clip took place amid voting for the ongoing general elections. Some social media users claimed that Gupta is a Telugu Desam Party (TDP) or Jana Sena candidate from the Guntakal constituency.

In the 46-second video, a man wearing a white shirt is seen with two microphones pointed towards him. Speaking in Telugu, he says, "This is all wrong, I am breaking this. What is this election? Is this the way to conduct it? This is all fraud, how could you do this?" He then throws an EVM on the floor. The video then shows the man being escorted by police personnel to a police vehicle. 

This video was shared on X (formerly Twitter) by a user with the caption: "TDP candidate EVM vandalized. Guntakallu TDP-Jana Sena joint candidate Madhusudan Gupta vandalized EVMs. With the registration of a case against MLA Pinnelli of Machar. Recently this video came to light..on this @ECISVEEP What steps will be taken (translated from Telugu)?" One post sharing the clip garnered about 82,000 views at the time of writing.

Archived versions of these posts can be viewed here and here.

Screenshot of some of the viral claims. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)

Andhra Pradesh went to polls on May 13 to elect all Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) and some Members of Parliament (MPs).

However, the viral video is unrelated to the Andhra Pradesh Assembly polls or the general elections, and dates back to 2019.

What did we find?

Guntakal, the constituency mentioned in the social media posts, is a city in Andhra Pradesh's Anantapur district. We could not find any news reports about EVMs being vandalized at any booth here during the polls. 

Through a reverse image search using keyframes from the viral video, we found an ANI News post (archived here) on X, dated April 11, 2019. From around the 12-second mark, the ANI video shows the same visuals of the man throwing the EVM on the ground, corresponding to the first 10 seconds of the viral video.

The ANI post is captioned: "#WATCH Jana Sena MLA candidate Madhusudhan Gupta smashes an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) at a polling booth in Gooty, in Anantapur district. He has been arrested by police. #AndhraPradesh." Jana Sena Party (JSP) is an Indian political party that operates primarily in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

A 2019 NDTV report corroborates these details, stating that Gupta, then a JSP candidate in Andhra Pradesh, was arrested on April 11, 2019, for breaking an EVM. It added that he threw the EVM on the floor at a polling station after expressing anger at the polling staff over the improper display of Assembly and Parliamentary constituency names. The machine was damaged, and Gupta was immediately arrested. The report also featured an image of a frame from the viral video.

Voting for the 2019 Parliament and state Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh was held on April 11 five years ago.

Further, we found a YouTube video posted by Deccan Herald (archived here) on April 11, 2019, which showed similar visuals of Gupta being escorted away by police around the 48-second mark.

Comparison of a screenshot from the viral video with the YouTube clip posted by Deccan Herald n May 2019. (Source: X/YouTube)

All these media reports from 2019 demonstrate that the viral video is not recent.

Is Gupta a TDP-JSP candidate from Guntakal in 2024?

The video featuring Gupta is from 2019, when he was a JSP candidate. His Facebook page now simply refers to him as a former MLA from Guntakal.

Gummunur Jayaram, a former legislator of the Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP) who is now in the TDP, is the current candidate for the TDP-Jana Sena-BJP alliance in the Guntakal constituency. There are no recent reports of Jayaram's involvement in EVM vandalism incidents.

Amid the ongoing Lok Sabha polls, CCTV footage surfaced allegedly showing Pinneli Ramakrishna Reddy, an MLA from the ruling YSRCP in Andhra Pradesh, picking up a voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machine and throwing it to the ground at a polling station on May 13. The police have booked him, and the Election Commission has ordered strict criminal action against those responsible.

The verdict

The video has been falsely shared to claim that it shows politician Madhusudan Gupta destroying an EVM during the 2024 polls in Andhra Pradesh. However, the incident occurred during voting for the 2019 Andhra Pradesh Assembly and Lok Sabha polls. Further, Gupta is not the TDP or the Jana Sena's candidate from Guntakal. Therefore, we have marked this claim as misleading.

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