A video showing what appears to be a voting fraud in a polling booth has gone viral on social media and Whatsapp with several users claiming it to be from the ongoing Gujarat assembly elections. According to a Twitter post in Gujarati, the video is from Surat’s Varachha. Eighty-nine of the total 182 assembly seats went to polls on December 1 in the first phase of elections in Gujarat with Surat among the key areas that voted. Voting for the remaining 93 seats will be held on December 5 and the results will be announced on December 8.
The archived version of the post can be seen here.
Newschecker first noticed that the language spoken in the viral clip is not Gujarati, but Bangla, raising our doubts.
We then ran a reverse image search of keyframes of the video, which led us to this Youtube video, dated February 27, 2022, uploaded by TV9BanglaLive on the West Bengal Municipal Election 2022. According to a translation of the video’s description in Bangla, “Voting for Ward No. 33 of South Dum Dum Municipality is going on at Lakeview School. The agent himself stopped the voters and pressed the button on the EVM. Watch that video.”
Taking a cue from this, we ran a relevant keyword search, which led us to this Bangla news report from Khabor 24X7, dated February 27, 2022, on the rigged voting process. According to a translation of the report, “The video is from Booth No. 108, Ward No. 33, South Dum Dum. In this video it is seen that Trinamool workers occupied the booth.” The report stated that the video was shared by BJP leader Agnimitra Pal.
We also learnt that the video was shared by the state units of BJP and Congress, accusing the Trinamool Congress of election fraud. Election to 108 municipalities across 20 districts of the state was held on February 27. Although we could not independently verify the allegation of fraud as claimed against the video, we can confirm that this clip is not from the ongoing Gujarat assembly elections.
A viral video claiming voting fraud in the ongoing Gujarat assembly elections is actually from West Bengal civic elections in February 2022.
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