In this election season, there is a new controversy everyday over the Electoral Voting Machines (EVMs). Now, a post is being shared widely on Facebook claiming that 20 lakh EVMs are missing from the possession of the Election Commission of India (ECI). Let’s try to analyze the claim made in the post.
Claim: 20 lakh EVMs missing from the possession of ECI.
Fact: Sheyphali Sharan, the official spokesperson of ECI, gave a clarification on her official Twitter account regarding this issue. She said that there is no truth in the claim that ’20 lakh EVMs missing’. Hence the claim made in the post is FALSE.
When searched for the news on Google, it was found that the source for this news is a story titled “Missing EVMs” available online on ‘Frontline’ magazine website (Print Edition: May 24, 2019). It reported that the information was based on the RTI replies got by Manoranjan Roy, an RTI activist in Mumbai. He also filed a PIL in Bombay High Court based on the information he got on EVMs through RTIs.
After the article was published, the same was reported widely by other media houses like The Logical Indian and TV9 Bharatvarsh. As the article went viral, Sheyphali Sharan, the official spokesperson of ECI, gave a clarification on her official Twitter account regarding this issue. She tweeted, “Regarding the story https://frontline.thehindu.com/cover-story/article27056139.ece… & news reports, it is clarified that there is no truth in contention that “20 lakh EVMs are missing”. The news report is based on inaccurate & specious misinterpretation of partial facts obtained from RTI from multiple Public Authorities.” She also tweeted the letters written to Frontline and TV9Bharatvarsh asking them to “observe the highest professional and ethical standards in reporting and would not be a party, even unwittingly, to malicious efforts at spreading misinformation.” She confirmed through her tweet that TV9 has deleted the story on this issue and Frontline Editor will publish a due rejoinder. So, the misinformation spreading over missing of EVMs is not true.
To sum it up, ECI has clarified that there is no truth in the ‘EVMs missing’ claim.