A viral WhatsApp forward claiming the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lost 36 seats with a margin of less than 2,000 votes in the recently concluded Delhi assembly elections is false and not backed by official data from the Election Commission of India.
A margin of victory for a seat is difference of the votes obtained between the winning candidate and the immediate runner up.
The viral message claims that in 36 seats, the BJP could have easily won, citing the following alleged victory margins:
- The BJP losing 8 seats with a margin of less than 100 votes
- Losing 19 seats with margin less than 1000 votes
- Losing 9 seats with a margin less than 2000 votes
The WhatsApp forward also goes on to say that these 36 seats (8+19+9), along with 8 seats the BJP won, could have led them to 44 seats, well past the majority mark.
The message tries to portray the election between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the BJP to be much closer than it actually was.
BOOM found no seats to be below the 100-vote margin threshold, 2 seats a below the 1000-vote margin threshold and just 1 seat to be below 2000-vote margin threshold. These total three seats, and are a far cry from the 36 seats being claimed to have minuscule margins that could have put the BJP in sight of victory.
In the elections, whose results were declared on February 11, the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) retained power with authority, winning 62 of the 70 seats up for grabs, with the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) winning in the remaining 8. The Congress drew a blank.
BOOM received the message on its helpline (7700906111).
BOOM found this to be viral on Twitter as well, with even a Lok Sabha MP, Satyadev Pachauri (BJP, Kanpur) tweeting this information, garnering him more than 1,300 likes and close to 600 retweets.
BOOM also found this message to be viral on Facebook too.
Therefore, BOOM looks at Election Commission of India data to check the margins of victory.
According to official Election Commission of India data, there are no seats with margins of less than 100, which does not corroborate claims carried by message stating that 8 seats were lost by the BJP with a margin of less than 100 votes.
There are only 2 seats won by AAP with a margin of less than 1,000. These seats are those below:
In Bijwasan, Bhupinder Singh Joon of AAP - garnering 57,271 votes - defeated BJP's Sat Prakash Rana - earning 56,518 votes - by a margin of 753 votes, and it is the smallest victory margin this election.
In the second smallest margin of victory, the BJP's Abhay Verma - getting 65,735 votes - wrested the Laxmi Nagar seat from incumbent AAP MLA Nitin Tyagi, who got 64,855 votes. In this fight, the margin of victory was just 880 votes.
There is also one seat where the margin of victory is less than 2000 votes.
In Adarsh Nagar, incumbent AAP MLA Pawan Sharma - who received 46,892 votes - held on to his seat with 1,589 votes. His closest opponent, the BJP's Raj Kumar Bhatia, received 45,303 votes. This margin is the third smallest witnessed in the recent Delhi elections.
The fourth smallest margin was witnessed in the Kasturba Nagar seat, when current AAP MLA Madan Lal retained his seat with a margin of 3,165 votes against the BJP's Ravinder Chaudhary. This margin is much higher than the upper ceiling of 2,000 votes being claimed by the viral message.
Therefore, data shows only three seats having a margin of less than 2,000 votes, with no evidence of 36 seats.
Official data from the Election Commission of India can be found here.BOOM has done a roundup of the top seven fake news trends around the Delhi elections, which can be watched below.
Updated On: 2020-02-13T11:37:58+05:30
Claim Review : BJP lost 36 seats with a margin of less than 2,000 votes in Delhi
Claimed By : Various users of social media
Fact Check : False