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Thursday June 13, 2024

Ineligible 17-year-old voted eight times for Modi: police

By AFP
May 21, 2024
People stand in a queue to cast their ballot to vote at a polling booth during the fifth phase of voting of India’s general election in Ayodhya, in the countrys Uttar Pradesh state. — AFP/File
People stand in a queue to cast their ballot to vote at a polling booth during the fifth phase of voting of India’s general election in Ayodhya, in the country's Uttar Pradesh state. — AFP/File

NEW DELHI: Indian police on Monday detained an ineligible 17-year-old for voting eight times for Prime Minister Narendra Modi´s ruling party, as rivals screamed voter fraud in the ongoing national polls.

The Election Commission of India suspended poll officials and ordered a fresh vote at the polling station after the excited minor´s video of himself voting for the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), went viral.

“This is the second vote,” the boy says, smiling into his phone´s camera after pressing the electronic voting machine button for a BJP candidate in Uttar Pradesh, India´s most populous state and a political bellwether.

“Now look! This is my third vote... have now voted five times already, now going for the sixth time,” he adds with a finger-count gesture after every press, before finally stopping after the eighth time. The minimum voting age in India is 18 years.

“We have detained the juvenile and prima facie he has verified what was visible to all in the viral video,” deputy police superintendent Dhananjay Singh Kushwaha told AFP. “He told us that he voted eight times and made the video,” the officer added, refusing to comment further.