BBC Telugu article claiming Andhra Pradesh BJP chief criticized alliance partners' manifesto is fake

By: Rohith Gutta
May 7 2024

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BBC Telugu article claiming Andhra Pradesh BJP chief criticized alliance partners' manifesto is fake

Screenshot of a social media post claiming that Andhra Pradesh BJP chief criticized the TDP-JSP manifesto. (Source: Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict Fake

Andhra Pradesh BJP chief D Purandeswari made no such remarks. BBC Telugu has clarified that the purported news report s fabricated.

Claim ID a690ebc9

What is the claim?

A photo of a purported BBC Telugu news report is being circulated on social media platforms with the claim that D Purandeswari, president of Andhra Pradesh's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) unit, called upon her party cadre to reject the manifesto of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Jana Sena Party (JSP) — their alliance partners in the South Indian state. The purported image also claims that Purandeswari said that only the national manifesto of the BJP should be followed.

According to the screenshot of the purported BBC Telugu article, Purandeswari stated, "There are unimplementable promises in Chandrababu and Pawan Kalyan's manifesto. As these are Chandrababu's last elections, he is trying to attain power by cheating people. Our party cadre should consider only the manifesto we released at the national level." Chandrababu Naidu is the chief of the TDP, and Pawan Kalyan is the head of the JSP. The TDP and JSP released their combined election manifesto on April 30.

The viral image is being shared just days ahead of the assembly and parliament elections scheduled in the state on May 13. While the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) is the incumbent party, the TDP, JSP, and the BJP have come together to form a tri-party alliance.

Screenshot of a viral social media post. (Source: Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, Purandeswari did not make such a remark. The viral BBC Telugu news image is fabricated.

What did we find?

We looked for news reports on Purandeswari's purported statement but came across none. We also combed through BBC Telugu reports to see if they have published such a news item, but our research yielded no such results.

We then looked closely at the image being shared online. Though the template used in the viral image resembles the one used by BBC Telugu, it has many discrepancies. This template, titled 'Meeremantaru' (What do you say), is used by BBC Telugu to post a statement made by political leaders or a question on their social media accounts, inviting users' opinions about the statement or the question.

The term 'Meeremantaru' is usually placed on the left of the original BBC Telugu template. However, it is in the middle of the viral purported BBC Telugu article. Similarly, the font in the viral image differs from the font used by BBC Telugu in their templates. The font in the original template is thicker. Additionally, the BBC Telugu logo is brighter in the original template than the viral image. 

Comparison between the template used in the viral post and the original BBC Telugu template. (Source: Facebook/BBC Telugu/Screenshots)

BBC Telugu also clarified on their social media account (archived here) that the image is fake. They wrote, “This was not published by BBC. This is fake news.” 

Screenshot of the clarification posted by BBC Telugu. (Source: X/BBC News Telugu)

Row over the TDP-JSP manifesto

According to a report in NDTV, the manifesto released by the TDP-JSP combo had photographs of Naidu and Pawan Kalyan but no one from the third alliance partner, BJP, made it to the manifesto.

A report in The New Indian Express (TNIE) said that when the TDP-JSP manifesto was released on April 30, BJP Andhra Pradesh in-charge Siddharth Nath Singh refused to pose with a copy of the manifesto with Chandrababu Naidu and Pawan Kalyan. This led to speculation that the BJP was distancing itself from the manifesto. However, Siddharth Nath Singh told the media at the event, "Don't get confused...It is the TDP-JSP-BJP alliance. TDP and JSP have released their manifesto, and I am here to support it."

The TNIE report also added that Naidu informed the media that while the BJP released its own manifesto at a national level, it gave inputs for the state manifesto, which were included. Later, BJP National General Secretary and Andhra Pradesh Co-ordinator Arun Singh endorsed the TDP-JSP manifesto in a post on X (archived here).

The verdict

A fabricated image of a BBC Telugu news report has been shared to claim that Andhra Pradesh BJP chief D Purandeswari called upon the party members to reject their alliance partners' manifesto. However, she made no such comment, and the image is fake. Therefore, we have marked this claim as fake. 

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