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2024 Lok Sabha Polls: Viral Exit Poll Showing BJP Leading In Amritsar 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.

Claim
India Today Exit Poll shows BJP leading in Amritsar with a 33% vote share.

Fact
No such poll data released by India Today. Graphic is edited. 

The 13 Lok Sabha constituencies in Punjab are due to vote in the seventh and last phase of the 2024 Lok Sabha Polls scheduled on June 1. Ahead of the voting, an alleged exit poll graphic by India Today showing the BJP in the lead in Amritsar has gone viral on social media platforms. The alleged exit poll graphic titled ‘Amritsar Exit Poll Projections 2024’ predicts 33% voting in favour of the saffron party, followed by the Congress and AAP at 28% and 25% respectively.

Multiple X and Facebook users shared the graphic claiming that the BJP is winning in Punjab’s Amritsar. However, Newschecker found that India Today has not released any such poll data, and that the viral graphic is edited.

Such posts can be seen here, here and here.

Also Read: Did China’s Global Times Predict 430 Seats For BJP In Lok Sabha Polls? Here’s What We Found

The Amritsar constituency is expected to witness a multi-cornered electoral contest between the BJP, Congress, AAP and SAD candidates. While the INC has fielded the sitting MP Gurjeet Singh Aujla, the BJP nominated Taranjit Singh Sandhu from Amritsar. Punjab Minister and AAP leader Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal, and SAD’s Anil Joshi are also contesting from the Amritsar seat.

Fact Check/Verification

A Keyword search for “India Today,” and “Amritsar Exit Poll” on Google didn’t yield any report by the outlet suggesting the release of any such data.

We then looked up the viral graphic on Google lens which led us to a  Business Today report, dated March 7, 2022. Displaying a graphic similar to the widely circulated image, the report stated, “Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party is all set to emerge as a clear winner in the Punjab elections, the India Today – Axis My India exit poll predicts.”

Screengrab from Business Today website

Elaborating on poll results, an India Today report from March 2022 stated, “The poll predicted that the Arvind Kejriwal-led party will win 41 per cent of votes or 76-90 seats in the 117-seat Assembly. The exit poll result puts the incumbent Congress at second spot with the likelihood of winning 19-31 seats or 23 percent of votes. The BJP alliance, which includes former chief minister Amarinder Singh’s Punjab Lok Congress, is likely to win one to four seats or 7 per cent votes…”

Also Read: Did PM Share ‘All Eyes On PoK’ On His Instagram Story? No, Viral Screenshot Is Fake

On comparing the exit poll graphic featured in the India Today report with the viral image, we could conclude that the latter was edited.

(L-R) Viral image and graphic featured in India Today report

Furthermore, India Today’s Rahul Kanwal informed that the viral graphic was fake. In an X post, Kanwal said, “.. please be certain that any ‘poll’ you see before 6:30 pm on June 1 is fake.”

Screengrab from X post by @rahulkanwal

Ban on Exit Poll From 7:00 AM On 19 April To 6:30 PM On 1 June: ECI

Prior to the commencement of the 2024 Lok Sabha Polls, the Election Commision of India had announced a ban on exit polls between 7 am on April 19 and 6:30 pm on June 1. between 7 am on April 19 and 6:30 pm on June 1. This in line with Section 126A of the Representation of the People’s Act, 1951, which states,  “No person shall conduct any exit poll and publish or publicise by means of the print or electronic media or disseminate in any other manner, whatsoever, the result of an exit poll during such period as may be notified by the Election Commission in this regard.”

Also Read: Did PM Modi Say One Of Guru Gobind Singh’s ‘Panch Pyare’ Was His Uncle?

Conclusion

We could thus conclude that the viral exit poll graphic showing the BJP leading in Amritsar with a 33% vote share is edited. No such data has been released by India Today.

Result: Altered Photo

Sources
Report By India Today, Dated March 8, 2022
X Post By @rahulkanwal, Dated May 28, 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.

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