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Indian man amputates finger after mistakenly voting for Modi's party

Updated April 19, 2019

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Pawan Kumar said he became confused by the symbols on the electronic voting machine and voted for the wrong party. — Photo courtesy BBC/Yogesh Kumar Singh
Pawan Kumar said he became confused by the symbols on the electronic voting machine and voted for the wrong party. — Photo courtesy BBC/Yogesh Kumar Singh

An Indian man chopped off his index finger in desperation after voting for the wrong party in the country's national election.

In a video that has gone viral on social media, Pawan Kumar said he became confused by the symbols on the electronic voting machine and voted for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party instead of its regional rival in Uttar Pradesh state on Thursday.

Distraught, Kumar went home and chopped off his finger with a meat cleaver.

Even though votes are cast electronically at polling stations, the index finger of every voter is marked with indelible ink after they cast ballots, to make sure they do not vote again.

A second video showed the butcher's knife on the ground outside a toilet, with Kumar standing nearby holding up his hand with a bandage over the missing appendage.

“I wanted to vote for elephant but it went to flower,” he says in the video.

The lotus is the symbol of the Bharatiya Janata Party while the Bahujan Samaj Party, part of an alliance fighting Modi in the northern state, uses the elephant. The party symbol is used on voting machines.

“I went home and chopped off my finger with the cleaver,” said Kumar. He said no pressure had been put on him over his vote.

Thursday was the second day of India's marathon election which started on April 11 and runs through to May 19.