Telangana's BJP leader's edited audio shared to claim reservations for SC, ST, OBCs will be scrapped

By: Rajeswari Parasa
May 10 2024

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Telangana's BJP leader's edited audio shared to claim reservations for SC, ST, OBCs will be scrapped

Screenshot of the claim circulating online. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict Fake

BJP leader Bandi Sanjay’s audio from a press interaction has been edited to make it appear he said reservations for SC, ST, and OBCs will be canceled.

Claim ID 56bb15e1

What is the claim?

A purported audio-visual of Bandi Sanjay, Bharatiya Janata Party's Member of Parliament from Telangana's Karimnagar, has gone viral on social media with the claim that he said that reservations for Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in India will be scrapped. Social media users have also shared the clip with the claim that the MP made the comments at an internal party meeting. Social media users have criticized Bandi Sanjay, saying that he made the comments despite being from a backward class himself. (Bandi Sanjay is from the Munnuru Kapu caste, notified as an 'Other Backward Class,' according to the National Commission for Backward Classes.)

In the viral footage, we can see an image of Bandi Sanjay, and a voiceover, allegedly that of the BJP MP, running in the background saying: "Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or the Narendra Modi's government has never said that we have taken (BR) Ambedkar as an inspiration and said that we got these constitutional positions because of him, be it Prime Ministers or MPs, we never said these words, swear in the name of Parliament (translated from Telugu)." 

The voiceover continues: "It is Congress that brought in reservations and damaged the Constitution. Reservation is a social health problem. In the past, when reservations were given in SC category in the Education and other sectors. But, as Amit Shah said, reservations would be canceled like that, SC, ST, and BC reservations would be canceled. It's clear, no? (sic)"

Screenshot of the claims circulating online. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, Logically Facts has found that Bandi Sanjay's remarks to the media have been selectively clipped and stitched together to propagate a false narrative.

What is the fact?

We conducted a Google search to find if Bandi Sanjay had made any such remarks on scrapping reservations for SC, ST, and OBC communities. However, our search yielded no media reports on the alleged development. Such a remark would have made national headlines.

After searching for keywords heard in the audio clip, we came across a video uploaded by Zee News Telugu (archived here) of Sanjay speaking to the media on reservations. In the video, which was uploaded on April 28, Sanjay says he is in Huzurabad (an area in Karimnagar district of Telangana) for door-to-door campaigning.

In this interview, spanning over 24 minutes, we can also hear Bandi Sanjay utter some of the words heard in the viral Telugu audio, but in a completely different order. Some of his words from this interaction have been clipped and re-arranged to form a different narrative.

In the video, around the 10:30 mark, we hear him say in Telugu, "This problem is related to social health." Then, at 10:38, he says, "Regarding reservation." The words "Congress brought in religion-based reservations and damaged the Constitution" are uttered by him around 13:08. Between 13:17 and 13:31, he says, "Any day Congress did not mention that they took inspiration from Ambedkar and acknowledged that they got those positions because of him." The word "Congress" in the viral audio has been apparently replaced by the word "BJP."

Between 13:36 and 13:38, he says, "Bharatiya Janata Party, Narendra Modi's government." Starting from 13:43, he says, "In the past, SC category reservations were given in education and other sectors. At 19:41, we can hear Bandi Sanjay say, "Religion-based reservations would be canceled, and they would be given to the poor." At 19:51, he mentions "SC, ST, BC, and EBC poor people." At 23:23, he says, "It is clear, no?" Some words like 'Amit Shah,' 'BJP,' and 'Congress' were taken from different parts of his media address and edited into now-viral audio.

It is to be noted that in the original video, Bandi Sanjay says reservations based on religion will be scrapped and will be given to poor people. He does not say reservations for SCs, STs, and OBCs will be scrapped — instead, he says, "Without a doubt, reservations would be implemented. It has been ten years since Narendra Modi came to power; when did we remove reservations? In which state? Did this happen?" He adds, "Religion-based reservations would be removed. They would be given to the poor among SCs, STs, OBCs, and EBCs (Economically Backward Classes)."

Bandi Sanjay also says, "Prime Minister Narendra Modi made it very clear that 'reservations would not be scrapped.'" He also says that the claim that  BJP will scrap reservations is "false propaganda."

News outlets like The Times of India and The New Indian Express also reported on this media statement by Bandi Sanjay.

Bandi Sanjay made these remarks in response to Telangana Chief Minister Revanth Reddy's remarks made on April 25 when the latter alleged that the BJP wants to scrap reservations for the SCs, STs, and OBCs by 2025. An India Today report stated that Revanth Reddy claimed the BJP aims to win 400 seats this time to "make sure" that they have enough seats in Parliament to "support scrapping reservations for the SC, ST and OBCs."

Revanth Reddy's remarks triggered responses from BJP leaders and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who said that they intend only to scrap reservations for Muslims — which are 'not constitutional' — and assured that they would not scrap reservations for the SCs, STs, and OBCs, The Economic Times reported.

The verdict

BJP leader Bandi Sanjay's words from a press interaction in Karimnagar have been clipped and strung together to share a fake audio clip. Bandi Sanjay never made the remarks we hear in the clip. Therefore, we mark this claim as fake.

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