“BJP wins in Amritsar, posts viral exit poll”. But is this correct?

Voting for all 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab is taking place today in the seventh and final phase of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Ahead of the vote, a purported exit poll graphic from India Today showing the BJP leading in Amritsar has gone viral on social media platforms. The purported exit poll chart titled ‘Amritsar Exit Poll Projections 2024’ predicts that 33% will vote for the BJP, followed by the Congress and AAP with 28% and 25% respectively.

Several X and Facebook users shared the graphic claiming that the BJP was winning in Amritsar in Punjab. However, Newschecker found that India Today did not publish any such poll data and the viral graph was altered.

Such messages can be seen here, here And here.

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THE Amritsar The constituency is expected to witness a multifaceted electoral contest between candidates from the BJP, Congress, AAP and SAD. While the INC presented the sitting MP Gurjeet Singh Aujla, the BJP has nominated Taranjit Singh Sandhu from Amritsar. Punjab Minister and AAP leader Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwaland SAD’s Anil Joshi are also contesting from Amritsar seat.


A keyword search for “India Today” and “Amritsar Exit Poll” on Google did not give any media reports suggesting the publication of such data.

We then searched for the viral graphic on Google Lens which led us to a Business today report, dated March 7, 2022. Showing a chart similar to the widely circulated image, the report said: “Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party is all set to emerge as a clear winner in the Punjab, India exit elections Today – Axis My India. predicts the poll.”

Screenshot of Business Today website

Elaborating on the survey results, a India today A March 2022 report said: “The poll predicts that the Arvind Kejriwal-led party will win 41% votes, or 76-90 seats out of the 117 seats in the Assembly. The poll result puts the incumbent Congress in second place with the probability of winning 19 to 31 seats, or 23 percent of the vote. The BJP alliance, which includes former chief minister Amarinder Singh’s Punjab Lok Congress, is likely to win one to four seats, or 7 per cent of the votes…”

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Comparing the exit graph presented in the India Today report with the viral image, we could conclude that the latter has been altered.

Additionally, India Today’s Rahul Kanwal informed that the viral graphic was fake. In an

Screenshot of @rahulkanwal’s X post

Ban on exit polls from 7:00 a.m. on April 19 to 6:30 p.m. on June 1: ECI

Before the start of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the Election Commission of India had announced a ban on exit polls between 7 a.m. on April 19 and 6:30 p.m. on June 1. between 7 a.m. on April 19 and 6:30 p.m. on June 1. This in accordance with Section 126A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, which states: “No person shall hold an exit poll and publish or publicize by means of the written or electronic press or otherwise broadcast the result of an exit vote during this period. period which may be notified by the Election Commission in this regard.

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We could therefore conclude that the viral exit-poll graph showing the BJP in the lead in Amritsar with 33% of the votes is modified. No such data has been published by India Today.

(This story was originally published by Newschecker and republished by NDTV as part of the Shakti Collective.)

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