Did over 6 lakh votes polled in favour of Congress president Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad disappear from the records? This is a claim which has been made on social media, on the basis of a screenshot of the website of the Election Commission of India.
— Md Akram (@Sk_md_akram) May 24, 2019
The screenshot shows that Rahul Gandhi has secured 1276945 votes. A zoomed in version of the same is posted below. Gandhi won the Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency by a record margin, but lost his traditional borough of Amethi to Smriti Irani.
However, when the final result was declared, it was found that Rahul Gandhi had actually polled 706367 votes.
According to another screenshot, Rahul Gandhi had polled over 13 lakh votes, which ‘reduced’ to a little over 7 lakh subsequently.
The above screenshot was used in a ‘video report’ on a YouTube channel, which casts aspersions on the poll process on the basis of these numbers. The video has been viewed over 1.5 million times since it was posted on May 23.
So, did these ‘additional’ votes simply vanish from the records of the Election Commission? Has there been foul play, as alleged by users who shared their own screenshots on social media platforms?
No discrepancy in records
The figure of over 13 lakh votes polled in favour of Rahul Gandhi is false. This is because the total number of votes polled in the constituency was 10,89,819, according to a report of The Hindu published on April 24.
Thus, it is not possible for 13 lakh votes to have been cast in favour of the Congress president. Moreover, it may be noted that in the 2014 Lok Sabha election, a total of 915,138 votes were cast in the Wayanad constituency. This information is available on the website of the Chief Electoral Officer, Kerala. The numbers this time (10,89,819) vis-a-vis 2014, are consistent and proportionate with the increase in population. Moreover, it may be noted that the voter turnout this time was 74.14%, which is higher than the turnout in the 2014 Parliamentary polls (73.26%).
The claims floating on social media are the outcome of an error on the website of the ECI, which was later rectified. It may be reiterated that according to the final numbers, Rahul Gandhi got 706367 votes, securing 64.67% of votes polled in his constituency.
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