Pawan Kumar chopped his index finger off in fear because he voted for the wrong party in India’s General Election. He became unsure by the symbols on the electronic voting machine and had voted for the Bharatiya Janata Party, instead of the irregional opponent in Uttar Pradesh state onthe18thofApril 2019. Kumar aged 25 went home, and with the meat cleaver chopped off his finger. Even though votes are cast electronically at the polling stations, the index finger of every voter is marked with the indelible ink after they cast their votes in their ballots, so that they don’t vote again.
Kumar’s brother Kailash Chandra had said that his brother was thrilled that he was voting for the first time. He stated that but once he realised his mistake, he was so hysterical that he chopped off his finger. He added that every time he saw his ink-marked finger, he felt annoyed. Chandra said that the family rushed Kumar to the hospital and videos began circulating online showing the first time voter with his hand bandaged.
Kumar said in one video. “I wished to vote for the elephant, but it went to the flower”. He also stated that he was not being pressurised to vote for a particular party. The lotus is the symbol of Modi’s party, while the Bahujan party is part of an alliance fighting Modi in the northern state, which uses the symbol of the elephant. The party symbols are used on voting machines. Thursday 18th April 2019 was the second day of India’s marathon election which started on 11th April and will run up to 19th May.