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HomeElection WatchWere EVMs Tampered in Varanasi? Here’s What Actually Happened

Were EVMs Tampered in Varanasi? Here’s What Actually Happened

The Yogi Adityanath led BJP government has won a consecutive second term in Uttar Pradesh, 1st time for a sitting CM, and the EVM row has started yet again. Just a day after the polls were wrapped up in the most populous state, Samajwadi Party Chief held a press briefing highlighting alleging EVMs tampered in Varanasi. Videos showing a group of men waylaying a truck carrying EVMs, allegedly being stolen, were shared widely on social media platforms and WhatsApp messenger service. 

Speaking at the press briefing alleging EVMs tampered in Varanasi, Akhilesh Yadav claimed that the EVMs were being transported without the knowledge of the candidates, before they were ‘intercepted’ by his party workers. Several  other leaders from SP and other opposition parties also made similar claims of EVMs tampered in Varanasi. 

The videos show several men standing on a tempo, ‘confiscating’ what appear to be EVMs. In other videos of the incident, police are seen jostling and shoving the workers, in an attempt to bring the situation under control.

Fact Check/Verification 

To find out more about the video allegedly showing EVMs tampered in Varanasi, we conducted a keyword search on both Twitter and Google, and landed on a tweet by the UP election commission, which clarified that the EVMs seen in the video were for training purposes, and not actual EVMs used in the elections. 

“The EVMs seen in the tempo were kept for the training of the counting officers. This training was to be held on 9 March 2022. For this reason, on March 8, these EVM machines were being taken from storage to a college, where training was to be held. Meanwhile, some people from political parties stopped this vehicle and a rumour was spread that these EVM machines were used for voting”, the press release reads.

The press release further states that “the machines which were used for voting are sealed inside the strong room and are safe under the supervision of central paramilitary forces. These machines are completely different from the machines used for training”. Varanasi DM Kaushal Raj Sharma has also given the same statement on the allegations of Akhilesh Yadav.

Taking this as a clue, Newschecker analysed the viral video once again and found that the EVMs that were found had stickers on them that read “Training/Awareness  EVMs”. 

EVMs tampered in Varanasi
Screenshots from the viral video

But the elections authorities, taking the confusion into notice, admitted that there has been a lapse in the protocol in the movement of EVMs. Rejecting the allegation of EVM tampering, Chief Election Commissioner of India Sushil Chandra said that according to the due  procedure, Varanasi ADM had to inform all candidates who contested in the area about the movement of EVMs that were being used  for training purposes, failing which, the ADM has been suspended. 

Varanasi Commissioner Deepak Aggarwal has also admitted that there was a mistake on the part of the administration in the movement of EVM machines. 

Conclusion 

According to the information available at present, the viral video claiming EVMs tampered in Varanasi is shared with false context. it has emerged that while there was a mistake on the part of the Varanasi administration regarding the movement of EVMs, the machines seen in the video are different from the machines used for elections and were solely meant for  training purposes. The story will be updated in case of any further developments.

Result: False Context/Missing Context 

Our Sources

Tweet of UP CEO

Viral Video screenshots

Versions of Varanasi DMVaranasi Commissioner and Chief Election Commissioner of India


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Pankaj Menon
Pankaj Menon
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.
Pankaj Menon
Pankaj Menon
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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