An independent candidate for the Indian general election broke down in tears on live television after learning that he, at the time, believed he only received five votes at the booth where his family of nine cast their ballots.
Neetu Shutteran Wala, who contended for his civic seat in Jalandhar, Punjab, alleged that the voting machines had been manipulated against his favor.
“I have nine voters in my family and only five polled in my favor,” Wala, who sobbed inconsolably, told local news outlet Jagbani. “They have manipulated the voting machines. All my neighbors swore in the name of goddess Chintpurni that they would vote for me.”
The frustrated candidate added that he had left his shop for a month to work with people. He then vowed, “I’m never going to contest election again.”
Wala, however, did not actually collect just five votes. According to the Election Commission of India, he received 856 votes in the final tally, with three other candidates polling fewer votes.
Meanwhile, Santokh Singh Chaudhary of the Indian National Congress won the seat with 385,712 votes. A total of 1,018,998 votes were registered in Jalandhar.
The Indian general election, which ran from April 11 to May 19, was held to constitute the 17th Lok Sabha, or the lower house of the country’s bicameral Parliament.
While Wala did not make much of a difference in the elections, his live TV breakdown won thousands of shares on social media.
As he may have suspected, however, there was a malfunction in vote reporting at the time of his viral breakdown. By the end of the day, Wala managed to win a total of 856 votes, according to Navbharat Times