As the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections are underway, a video showing a polling agent voting on behalf of women at a polling centre is viral on social media. The video is being shared, claiming that it was captured during the ongoing UP elections.
The viral video shows a polling agent walking to the voting compartment and returning to his place as soon as any woman moves towards the chamber to cast her vote.
Former Chief Minister of UP and party president of Samajwadi Party (SP) Akhilesh Yadav shared the video on Twitter on February 28 2022, claiming that the incident took place at a polling booth in Kunda, UP and requested the election commission to take cognisance.
He shared the video with a Hindi caption, "कुंडा में जिस तरह बूथ पर उपस्थित किसी दल के अवांछित व्यक्ति द्वारा सरेआम महिलाओं के वोटों का बटन दबाया जा रहा है, उसके वीडियो का संज्ञान लेते हुए चुनाव पर्यवेक्षक चुनाव आयोग से कुंडा का चुनाव रद्द करने की अपील करें। साथ ही दोषी व्यक्ति को चिन्हित कर तत्काल गिरफ्तार करवाएं।"
[English translation: In Kunda, someone present at the polling booth is pressing the button for other women voters. I appeal to the Election Commission of India (ECI) to cancel elections in Kunda and identify and arrest the guilty immediately.]
While Akhilesh Yadav later deleted his Twitter post, the archived version can be seen here.
The video is viral on social media with the same narrative that it was captured during the ongoing elections.
A polling agent voted on behalf of women at a polling centre in Kunda, UP.
The Logical Indian Fact Check team verified the claim and found it false. The video is old, captured during the Lok Sabha elections at Asaoti in Faridabad, Haryana.
We extracted different keyframes from the viral video using the InVid tool and conducted a Google reverse image search. It led us to a video report by NDTV of May 12, 2019, which used the same viral clip.
The report was titled, "Poll Agent Arrested Over Video Of 'Booth Capture' In Haryana's Faridabad". According to the report, the polling agent enters the polling compartment thrice and influences the women voters during the voting process. The article informs that the agent was arrested.
Later, NDTV also published a news article covering the same story on May 13, 2019. The report was titled, "Election 2019: Poll Agent Arrested Over Video of 'Booth Capture' In Haryana's Faridabad". According to the report, the polling agent influenced voters in the sixth round of the national election. An excerpt from the report reads, "The action was taken against the official after a video on Twitter was brought to the notice of the Haryana election body".
The report also added a Twitter post by District Election Office Faridabad. They informed that the Faridabad administration took the matter seriously and investigated it, following which the polling agent was arrested, and an FIR was lodged against him. See thread here.
We also found that Raghuraj Pratap Singh, a member of the legislative assemble (MLA) from Kunda, shared a screengrab of Akhilesh Yadav's Twitter post and called him out for sharing the old video from Haryana.
Singh wrote in Hindi, "आदरणीय @yadavakhilesh जी, आप एक दल के राष्ट्रीय अध्यक्ष हैं और वरिष्ठ राजनेता भी, उक्त वीडियो 2019 के चुनाव का हरियाणा का है जिसे आप कुण्डा का बताकर चुनाव निरस्त करने की माँग कर रहे हैं, राजनीति में इतनी घृणा भी अच्छी नहीं होती।".
[English caption- Respected @yadavakhilesh Ji, you are the national president of a party and a senior politician. The above video is from Haryana of the 2019 elections, basis which you are demanding to cancel the election by telling that it is of Kunda. So much hatred is not good in politics.]
Therefore, we can conclude that former CM of UP and party president of SP Akhilesh Yadav shared an old video from Asaoti in Prithala constituency, Faridabad, Haryana, with a false narrative that the footage was captured recently during the ongoing elections in UP.
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