Fabricated news clip shared to claim India's intelligence unit predicted YSRCP win in Andhra Pradesh

By: Rohith Gutta
April 12 2024

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Fabricated news clip shared to claim India's intelligence unit predicted YSRCP win in Andhra Pradesh

Screenshot of a social media post claiming that the Indian Intelligence Bureau has predicted YSRCP's victory in the upcoming polls in Andhra Pradesh (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict Fake

The news clip is fabricated; ETV Andhra Pradesh clarified that it carried no such report. The purported IB report quoted in the claim is also fake.

Claim ID 38535584

What is the claim?

Social media users have shared a 32-second clip, purportedly a news report aired by Telugu news channel ETV Andhra Pradesh, with the claim that India's Intelligence Bureau (IB)—country's premier domestic intelligence gathering unit —has predicted that the ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) will emerge victorious in the upcoming assembly elections in the south Indian state. 

According to the purported news clip, IB has released a "sensational" report, a survey for which was carried out in March, and the report held that the YSRCP would retain power in the state by winning 124 of the 175 assembly constituencies. The purported report also stated that, according to IB's assessment, YSRCP's rival National Democratic Alliance (NDA)— comprising Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Jana Sena Party (JSP), and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)—will bag only 51 seats. Archived versions of posts sharing the video can be accessed here, here, and here.

Screenshots of the viral social media post. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, ETV Andhra Pradesh did not broadcast such a news report, nor did IB release the aforementioned findings.

What did we find?

We looked for news reports about the purported IB report predicting YSRCP's victory. However, we came across no such news story. Had the IB released such a report, several media outlets would have reported on the same.

We then looked closely at the purported news clip to determine its authenticity. While the graphic template and the background music used in the viral clip are the same as that ETV Andhra Pradesh used in its news shows, the channel's font for the 'Breaking News' title differs from the font used in the viral video. The viral post has shared the purported IB report/survey content with the ETV Andhra Pradesh visual template but has got the 'Breaking News' font wrong.

Comparison between the viral clip and the original video (Source: X/ETV Andhra Pradesh/Screenshots)

On April 11, ETV Andhra Pradesh also clarified that the outlet never aired such a report and had filed a complaint with the Hyderabad police's Cyber Cell against the spread of the false clip shared with its credentials. The clarification was shared during a news broadcast and uploaded to their YouTube channel, sister newspaper's website, and social media accounts. 

Fake IB report circulated online

This purported news clip claims to share an internal IB report about the assembly elections. According to this purported report, while YSRCP is predicted to win 118-124 seats with 49-51 percent of votes, the NDA's tally would be around 48-51 with 41-45 percent of votes. According to this purported IB report, the ground survey was conducted between March 2 and April 4. The purported report was dated April 10, 2024, and claims that 3,56,541 people participated in the survey. 

Screenshot of the purported IB report. (Source; X/Modified by Logically Facts)

Notably, in February 2017, an India Today report quoted IB officials saying that the unit's reports generally have the word "Secret" on their reports if they are confidential. The same source told the national news channel that "genuine IB election reports are prepared during the elections, but they normally focus on the sensitive areas and not the outcome of the elections itself."

Previously, fake IB reports predicting the victory of various parties have circulated during elections. The Press Information Bureau of India had also clarified about one such fake report that circulated in 2021 before elections in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu. 

All of this indicates that the viral 'IB Report' is fake.

Logically Facts has previously debunked such fabricated news clips, fake news articles, and open letters by politicians, and a few of our fact-checks can be read here, here, and here

The verdict

A fabricated news clip of ETV Andhra Pradesh is shared to falsely claim that the Intelligence Bureau (IB) carried out a survey and predicted YSRCP's victory in the upcoming elections in Andhra Pradesh. Therefore, we have marked this claim as fake. 

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