Om Thanvi, founding vice-chancellor of the Haridev Joshi University of Journalism and Mass Communication, tweeted a video on March 4, 2022. The clip was taken from a News18 broadcast in which a group of people claim BJP workers paid them for not casting their votes, and falsely applied ink on their fingers. It has been claimed that the incident occurred in the Tarajivanpur village in Uttar Pradesh, located in the Chandauli district. The footage garnered over 4,000 retweets and was liked by over 9,000 handles. (Archive link)

The video is circulating against the backdrop of the recently-concluded UP elections. Twitter user ‘@dhrubachoudhur5’ also promoted this video with a similar claim. (Archive link)

North-East Mumbai Congress Seva Dal further amplified the claim. (Archive link)

Several other users on Facebook and Twitter posted this video, linking it to UP assembly elections.

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Fact-check

Quote-tweeting Thanvi’s tweet, Chandauli police clarified that the incident is actually from 2019. It also said that appropriate action was taken during the case.

A News18 article dated May 19, 2019, carried the viral footage. Residents from a Dalit basti in the Tarajivanpur village claimed that BJP workers paid them Rs 500 in return for not voting. They also alleged that their fingers were marked with ink. The report states, “Chandauli SDM Harsh Kumar explained that he received information about residents in a Dalit basti of the Tarajivanpur village who were involved in a cash for votes scheme. They alleged that BJP workers paid them for not voting and marked their fingers.”

It is noteworthy that BJP state president Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey was campaigning from Chandauli during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. In the viral video, the workers are levelling accusations against him. Pandey is currently a BJP MP from the Chandauli constituency.

ANI UP/Uttarakhand also tweeted some pictures of the incident on May 19, 2019. The post quoted SDM Harsh Kumar as saying that a complaint had been registered in this matter. He added that the complainant was still eligible to vote since the election had not yet commenced. The SDM also stated that the complainants would have to mention in the FIR that ink was forcefully applied on their fingers.

To sum it up, during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, people from the Tarajivanpur village in Chandauli, Uttar Pradesh accused BJP workers of bribing them to not cast their votes. A video of the incident was falsely circulated in connection with the recent Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.

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