In the backdrop of the West Bengal assembly election, a newspaper clipping has been shared claiming that 66 fake EVMs were seized from a BJP leader’s residence. A Facebook user posted the image and wrote, “All preparations have been made to win the Bengal elections, it’s only a formality now.”
NSUI Coordinator Krishna Mohan Sharma tweeted the photo as well. It amassed over 400 retweets at the time of writing. (Archive link)
— Krishna Mohan Sharma (@KrishnaMohanSha) March 15, 2021
Incident from 2018
The text above the headline reads, “It was built to attract voters in Jaitaran” and the byline says, “News Service/Navjyoti, Beawar”. Both Jaitaran and Beawar are cities in Rajasthan.
Alt News performed a keyword search and came across a Patrika story dated December 4, 2018, carrying a similar photograph. According to the news outlet, the police recovered 66 fake EVMs from a housing board flat in Beawar, Ajmer. The fake machines had independent candidate Surendra Goyal’s name and election symbol, who was contesting from Jaitaran.
Surendra Goyal was a member of the BJP who resigned from the party after he was not given a ticket in the 2018 assembly elections. Following this, he filed for nomination from Jaitaran as an independent candidate. This is also mentioned in the viral newspaper clipping however, its headline misleadingly suggests that the candidate is still with the BJP.
Dainik Bhaskar had also reported on the raid three years ago.
A clipping of an old news story about 66 fake EVMs recovered from Beawar was falsely linked to the ongoing West Bengal assembly elections. The incident occurred in 2018 during the Rajasthan assembly elections.