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How the Jayanagar Vote was Stolen – What Does Not Add Up: Amandeep Sandhu


[This post is a report on what went on in Jayanagar, a constituency in the southern parts of Bangalore, in the Vidhansabha Elections, May 2023]

Yesterday, 13 May, by 2.30 pm or so, the Jayanagar seat had gone in favour of Sowmya Reddy, Congress. It had been a very closely contested election with her rival CK Ramamurthy, BJP in close pursuit. Sowmya Reddy’s final lead, after 16 rounds, was 160 votes.

Flag 1: The Election Commission website was pretty up to date with all candidate results, but Sowmya Reddy’s results were very slow in coming. Her final result came online by around 6 pm while the counting was over, and she had gained her lead at 2.30 pm.

Another candidate stood from Jayanagar with a slight name variation – Sowmya A Reddy. She got 320 votes.

As Sowmya Reddy was leaving to collect her certificate, Ramamurthy also left the vote counting venue – SSMRV college. However, the Election Commission of India rules mandate that since the victory margin was lower than the number of postal ballots, a recount of postal ballots had become mandatory. When Sowmya Reddy was absent, Ramamurthy came back and requested for a recount of the postal ballot. Postal ballot is the term used for those votes which are cast by outstation voters and the pink form submitted by service personnel – police, officers, ambulance drivers and so on – who would be on duty during elections and can’t vote on election day. Their votes are recorded in advance. These votes are counted between 7.30 and 8 am, before strong rooms are opened and EVM vote count starts.

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