2017 news clip shared as 'EVM tampering by BJP' ahead of Indian elections

By: Annet Preethi Furtado
April 3 2024

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2017 news clip shared as 'EVM tampering by BJP' ahead of Indian elections

Screenshot of social media posts sharing a news clip of visuals highlighting the 'EVM tampering' controversy in Madhya Pradesh. (Source: Instagram/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict Misleading

The incident in question occurred in Madhya Pradesh, where several officials were penalized after a clip of alleged EVM tampering went viral.

Claim ID a2b80974

What's the claim?

In the run-up to the upcoming 2024 general polls, a Hindi news clip is going viral on social media with the claim that it shows how the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) recently "tampered" with Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). The viral clip features a report from ABP News channel, with overlaid text in Hindi, stating, "Pressed the button for elephant but got a slip for the lotus" and "pressed the first button, a lotus slip came out."

The news clip starts with ABP News anchor Chitra Tripathi stating that after the EVMs malfunctioned during a dummy test ahead in Madhya Pradesh's Bhind district, several officials were removed from their positions on the compliant of the Indian National Congress (INC) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Tripathi also highlighted that this happened ahead of the elections in the Ater Assembly constituency (Bhind), where the the Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) allegedly showed the vote going to the BJP when a button was pressed on the EVM. 

On Instagram, the video is shared with Hindi captions translating to "Big news..big irregularities found in elections" and "EVM is malfunctioning," accompanied by hashtags like "#loksabha" and "#election2024".

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

Screenshot of a viral Instagram post. (Source: Instagram/Modified by Logically Facts)

On X (formerly Twitter), the video was shared with the caption: "Once again, EVM malpractices are proved. Just like Modi can't answer questions from the press, Modi can't really win an election without the EVM. EVM is EVERY VOTE TO MODI. (sic)" An archived version of this post can be accessed here.

Screenshot of an X post. (Source:X/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, this incident occurred seven years ago and is unrelated to any recent or upcoming elections. 

What did we find?

A Google search shows that a longer version of the viral news clip, originally titled "EVM Controversy: SP, Collector of Bhind removed," was uploaded to the official ABP News YouTube (archive here) channel on April 1, 2017. 

This original news clip spans 10 minutes and 32 seconds, whereas the viral version only includes footage up to the 1:30 mark. The original news report was about the removal of the district magistrate and superintendent of police amid the EVM controversy in Madhya Pradesh's Bhind district.

Many other mainstream media outlets also covered the news around the same time.

Further, the viral clip shows Chitra Tripathi, who has been working for the Hindi news channel Aaj Tak since she left ABP News in September 2022, according to media reports. 

What was the 2017 EVM controversy?

The by-polls in the Ater Assembly constituency in Bhind district and the Bandhavgarh Assembly segment in Umaria district were slated for April 9, 2017. Prior to the elections, a video from Bhind allegedly showing the EVM-linked Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) producing slips displaying the BJP's lotus symbol, regardless of the buttons pressed on the voting machine, went viral.

This led to the Election Commission of India requesting a report from 21 officials in the Bhind district, with the Congress and AAP demanding the removal of Madhya Pradesh's Chief Electoral Officer Shalina Singh. The Madhya Pradesh government then removed the district magistrate and the superintendent of police and initiated proceedings against 19 others, reported The Times of India.

However, the final inquiry report dismissed the accusations, as per a report in The Indian Express. 

The verdict

A seven-year-old news clip regarding a controversy over a video showing alleged EVM tampering has resurfaced in the backdrop of upcoming general elections as a recent event. Therefore, we mark the claim as misleading. 

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

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