By: Rohith Gutta
November 16 2023
Screenshots of posts on social media (Source: X/Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)
The purported screenshots of Revanth Reddy's remarks are fake. A news outlet whose branding was used clarified that they have not published this news.
What is the claim?
Ahead of the Telangana Assembly elections scheduled for November 30, 2023, two screenshots of purported statements made by Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President A Revanth Reddy are circulating on social media. They claim that he has promised to auction land under the purview of the endowment department, which is set aside for temples, to fulfill the demands of minority communities in Telangana, if elected to power.
A user on X (formerly Twitter) shared two screenshots – purportedly of news articles and broadcasts by Way2News and NTV Telugu – claiming that he made this remark in response to a question by a journalist (archived version accessible here).
The text seen in the screenshot, claiming to be a news article by the Telugu news outlet Way2News, states: “To help Muslims, if necessary, we will auction the endowment lands, said TPCC President Anumula Revanth Reddy, in response to a journalist’s question on how they will fund the Muslim Declaration.”
The other images are of a purported news broadcast by the Telugu news channel NTV news. The text on these screenshots, in Telugu, reads: "We will help Muslims by auctioning endowment lands. Congress is the only party that supports Muslims in every possible way.”
The purported screenshots were also shared on social media platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp (archived here).
Screenshots of the post on social media (Source: WhatsApp/Modified by Logically Facts)
However, these screenshots are fake. Neither of the two news outlets cited in the screenshots published any such report.
What did we find?
The screenshots use the Telugu word ‘Muslim Declaration’ to describe the scheme when, in fact, the Congress in Telangana had named it ‘Minority Declaration.' As part of its election manifesto, Telangana Congress had promised a slew of schemes for minority communities in Telangana – Buddhists, Christians, Sikhs, Muslims, and Zoroastrians.
Neither does the actual document specify that it is only for Muslims, nor does it make any mention of auction of lands. A search for news reports of such an announcement or remark by Reddy also yielded no relevant results.
A reverse image search of the Way2News screenshot led us to a post by the publication on November 14, 2023, clarifying that they had not published the viral news report. Sharing the viral screenshot, the publication wrote, “This is not a Way2News story. Some miscreants are spreading misinformation using our logo, and the 'attached post' has gone viral. We confirm that this has not been published by us.”
Screenshot of the clarification by Way2News (Source: X)
Way2News has, on multiple occasions, flagged fake screenshots with their logo and template being shared on social media.
Telangana Congress, too, clarified, in a post on X on November 14, 2023, that these screenshots are fake.
Screenshot of clarification by Telangana Congress (Source: X)
Fake screenshots are being shared before the Telangana elections to claim that Congress would auction land under the purview of the endowment department to fulfill the promises made in the party's 'Minority Declaration.' Therefore, we have marked this claim as fake.