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Viral Exit Poll Graphic Predicting A Clean Sweep For NDA In Andhra Assembly Elections Is Edited

Authors

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

Claim
Exit Polls data predict a clean sweep for the NDA in Andhra Assembly Elections.

Fact
A 2019 graphic has been digitally manipulated. Exit polls are not released before the conclusion of elections.

An alleged graphic by The News Minute showing exit polls predicting a clean sweep for the NDA in Andhra Pradesh assembly elections is going viral on social media platforms. The graphic features the purported exit poll data by multiple outlets, such as India Today-Axis, CNN News18-IPSOS, Times Now-VMR, Republic-Jan Ki Baat, Republic-CVoter, NewsX-NETA, and Today’s Chanakya, foreseeing a clear majority for the NDA in the state elections. Newschecker found that the viral graphic has been digitally manipulated.

Such posts can be seen here and here.

The Andhra Pradesh Assembly Polls, concluded on May 13, have the incumbent YSR Congress Party face-to-face with the TDP-BJP-Jana Sena alliance. The assembly polls, which coincided with the Lok Sabha election in the state, witnessed multiple instances of violence. The TDP reportedly accused the YSRCP of kidnapping its poll agents, while the YSRCP claimed that the TDP was resorting to violence and disruptions in the voting process.

Also Read: Old Video From West Bengal Shared To Claim Vote Rigging In Hyderabad’s Bahadurpura

Fact Check/Verification

A keyword search for “The News Minute,” “Andhra  Elections 2024” and “ Exit Polls” did not yield any report by the outlet indicating the release of any such exit polls.

Following this, we looked up the viral graphic on Google lens, and found a report by The News Minute, dated 19 May 2019. Displaying a similar graphic, the report detailed the results of exit polls for the Andhra Lok Sabha Elections 2019. It stated, “The exit polls for the Andhra Pradesh Lok Sabha Elections are out and it seems to be a close fight for 25 MP seats in the state between the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the opposition YSRCP.”

Screengrab from TNM website

On comparing the viral graphic with the image featured in The News Minute report, we found the two visuals to be identical, except for the difference in the second and third columns.

Viral Exit Poll Graphic Predicting A Clean Sweep For NDA In Andhra Assembly Elections Is Edited
(L-R) Image featured in 2019 TNM report and viral graphic

Also Read: 2024 Lok Sabha Polls- EVM Theft By BJP? 2022 Video Revived With False Claims

Further, we found an X post by The News Minute, dated May 15, 2024, calling out the viral graphic. It stated, “This is to clarify that an old image from our story written in 2019 has been shared falsely claiming that we have made a prediction for the Andhra Pradesh Assembly election. It is to be noted that as per the Model Code of Conduct no agency/news organisation can share any figures/opinion polls/ exit polls until the conclusion of the elections, which is still underway in other parts of the country.”

Screengrab from X post by The News Minute

Notably, the prevalent rules prohibit the release of exit polls before the completion of the elections. For the ongoing elections, the ECI has imposed a ban on the publication or publicising of exit polls between 7 am on April 19 and 6:30 pm on June 1.

Screengrab from Mint website

Also Read: Altered Video Of Chandrababu Naidu Saying YSRCP Will ‘100% Win The Polls’ Goes Viral

Conclusion

We could thus conclude that an old image has been digitally manipulated to show a clean sweep for the NDA in the recently concluded assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh.

Result: Altered Photo

Sources
Report by The News Minute, Dated 19 May 2019
X Post By The News Minute, Dated May 15, 2024
Report By Mint, Dated March 31, 2024


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Authors

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

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