A fake quote claiming Bharatiya Janata Party had won the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh elections by hacking EVMs has been attributed to former Chief Election Commissioner TS Krishnamurthy. The quote is viral on social media as a newspaper clipping.
BOOM spoke to former CEC TS Krishnamurthy who rubbished the alleged report. Krishnamurthy has also registered a complaint with the election commission in this regard.
The clipping is viral at a time when Assembly elections are being conducted in West Bengal and Assam. With the elections on, electronic voting machines are once again in the headlines. In a recent incident at Patharkandi assembly in Assam, EVMs were found in the car of a BJP candidate. Following this, the Election Commission has suspended 4 officials and ordered fresh polling at the Ratabari assembly seat.
The viral post shares a newspaper clipping, the headline of which translates to 'BJP won Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh elections by hacking EVMs: Former election commissioner TS Krishnamurthy'.
(Hindi: गुजरात और हिमाचल प्रदेश का चुनाव बीजेपी ने ईवीएम हेकिंग से जीता है – टी एस कृष्णमूर्ति पूर्व चुनाव आयुक्त)
A Twitter user shared the clipping with a caption reading 'Thank God that lift was given by Paul of BJP. If Nawaz Sharif had given lift, maybe EC would declare him to be MLA of Assam. EC has lost credibility long back. Now just confirmed'.
BOOM did a reverse image search and found that the viral clipping has been on social media since 2017. We found a Facebook post from December 24, 2017 sharing the screenshot of a website The DailyGraph.
The article in The DailyGraph states 'BJP won Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh elections by hacking EVMs: Former election commissioner TS Krishnamurthy...The hand-in-glove relationship of BJP and election commission won't last long. The coming days for BJP, whose role in EVM hacking is being doubted, are going to be bad because...'.
(Hindi: गुजरात और हिमाचल प्रदेश का चुनाव बीजेपी ने ईवीएम हेकिंग से जीता है – टी एस कृष्णमूर्ति पूर्व चुनाव आयुक्त...बीजेपी और चुनाव आयोग की सांठ गाँठ ज़्यादा दिन छुपने वाली नहीं है. ईवीएम हैकिंग को लेकर संदेह के दायरे में आई बीजेपी के लिए आने वाले दिन बहुत ही बुरे हो सकते हैं क्यूंकि)
The DailyGraph article is dated December 21, 2017 and the results of Gujarat and Himcachal Pradesh elections were declared on December 19, 2017.
While The DailyGraph doesn't exist anymore, the alleged newspaper clipping which is viral now has reproduced the dailygraph article word-to-word.
BOOM searched the internet for any such statement made by the former CEC but found none. We then contacted TS Krishnamurthy who rubbished the alleged report.
"This has been officially denied and an FIR has been registered against the newspaper. The election commission had earlier called it a fake news and had registered an FIR against the said newspaper," the former CEC told BOOM.
We also found a press release dated March 11, 2021, on the official website of the Election Commission of India refuting the viral claim and terming it fake. The release further stated that the election commission will take stern action against fake news.
TS Krishnamurthy has served as the 13th chief election commissioner of India between 2004 and 2005.
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