Indian voter chops off finger after accidentally voting for wrong party

Pawan Kumar said he became confused by the symbols on the electronic voting machine and voted for the wrong party

Pawan Kumar said he became confused by the symbols on the electronic voting machine and voted for the wrong party

Kumar voted in Bulandshahr in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, according to the news site.

The two parties have distinctly different ideologies; whereas the governing BJP is Hindu nationalist and fiscally conservative, Kumar's preferred BSP emphasize social justice and egalitarianism.

In the Indian election polling process, after a voter casts his/her vote, a mark of indelible ink is put on their index fingers, colloquially known as "ink of honesty", which prevents a voter from casting duplicate votes.

Chandra said the family rushed Kumar to the hospital, and videos circulating online showed the first-time voter sporting a bandaged hand standing over the butcher's knife outside a toilet.

"I wanted to vote for the elephant, but I voted for the flower by mistake", Mr Kumar can be heard saying in the video.

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He said he was a Dalit and it was his duty to vote for the elephant (the BSP symbol).

However, due to many symbols being present on the electronic voting machine (EVM), he cast his vote for the "Lotus", the electoral symbol of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi instead. Regional parties and alliances also tend to confuse voters.

Party symbols play a big role in India's elections because they are easy to identify in a country where literacy is low in many parts.

The plebiscite is taking place over seven stages, with votes set to be counted on May 23.

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