HomeTop StoriesSatire article on 'non-voting penalty' resurfaces during India's 2024 elections

Satire article on ‘non-voting penalty’ resurfaces during India’s 2024 elections

<span>Screenshot of the fake message taken on April 5, 2024</span>” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/t0_xQDDvXpe8Sf7U0M5vsw–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTEyNDk-/https://media.zenfs.com/en/afp_factcheck_us_713/524f17bdff73 42bde9528f76e9a95b66″/><span></div>
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Screenshot of the fake post, taken on April 5, 2024

India’s six-week parliamentary elections that began on April 19 – the world’s largest democratic exercise – led to a wave of false and misleading reports online that were debunked by AFP.

Modi’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is widely expected to win, while a weakened political opposition is pushed to the sidelines.

Similar posts were also shared on Facebook here and here and further social media platform.

User comments indicated that some believed the claim.

“Is it possible for someone who is seriously ill to vote?” wrote one.

“This is just a ploy to increase voting percentage,” said another.

Satire article

The Election Commission of India labeled the claim as “fake” in a statement published on its official X account on April 2, 2024 (archived link).

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The statement included the screenshot shared in the fake posts, labeled “fake news.”

Keyword searches on the commission’s website have turned up no sign of such a policy of fining non-voters.

A reverse Google search on the image found an earlier statement from the Indian newspaper Navbharat Times on March 23, 2019 said it had published the article as satire (archived link).

“No money will be debited from anyone’s account if he does not vote for any reason,” the newspaper wrote in Hindi.

Navbharat Times expresses regret if the humorous article caused confusion among readers.”

The article was originally published on March 21, 2019 before India held its general elections that year.

An archived version of the full page on which the article appeared can be viewed here.

At the end of the article it said, “Don’t worry, it’s Holi,” referring to the Indian festival that marks the beginning of spring.

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Indian newspapers often publish satirical articles to mark the season.

There was also another note at the bottom of the page: “All news on this page is fictional.”

At the time, the election commission also made it clear that the claim was originally intended as a joke.

In a message on X dated March 23, 2019, the committee shared newspaper clippings from Navbharat Times with the article (archived link).

“Clarification issued by Navbharat Times regarding the misleading item published by them as a Holi joke,” the committee notice said.

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