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No, ECI Will Not Deduct Rs 350 From Bank Accounts if People Don’t Cast Votes

The fake viral claim has been circulating on the internet since 2019. No such announcement was made by ECI.

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WebQoof
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An image of a newspaper clipping which says that Rs 350 will be deducted from voters' bank accounts if they decide not to vote during elections is going viral on the internet.

  • The clipping also mentions that the amount will be deducted from mobile recharge if a person does not have a bank account.

What are users saying?: While several users have shared it to warn others, others have criticised the apparent decision taken by Election Commission of India (ECI).

The fake viral claim has been circulating on the internet since 2019. No such announcement was made by ECI.

An archive of the post can be viewed here.

(Source: Facebook/Screenshot)

Team WebQoof received a query about the viral claim on our WhatsApp tipline. You can view archives of similar posts here, here, and here.

Are these claims true?: No, the claim is false and no such announcement has been made by ECI.

  • The newspaper clipping in the viral claim was first shared as a satirical piece in 2019 on the occasion of Holi.

  • Since then, it is being circulated as an actual announcement.

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How did we find out?: We looked for reports on Google to check if ECI had made such an announcement of deducting money from voters' account.

  • This led us to a post shared on the official X (formerly Twitter) of 'Spokesperson ECI'.

  • The post dismissed the viral claim and termed it as fake news.

A recurring claim: The Quint had fact-checked the same claim in 2019, where it found that the report was published as a satirical piece by Hindi daily Navbharat Times on the occasion of Holi.

  • At the top of the article, we saw the words 'Jokes' and 'Fake News'.

The fake viral claim has been circulating on the internet since 2019. No such announcement was made by ECI.

The article was published by Navbharat Times as a joke.

(Source: Navbharat Times/Altered by The Quint)

  • The report mentioned the words, "बुरा न मानो होली है" (Translation: Don't feel offended, it's Holi).

  • We found the online version of the report, which too carried the same disclaimer towards the end.

The fake viral claim has been circulating on the internet since 2019. No such announcement was made by ECI.

The fact-check was published on 22 March 2019.

(Source: The Quint/Screenshot)

Conclusion: An image of a satirical newspaper clipping is being shared on the internet with a false claim that ECI will deduct Rs 350 from voters' bank accounts if they don't vote.

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here. For getting fact-checked content directly on WhatsApp, join our Channel here.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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