2021 clip from Andhra Pradesh shared as ‘bulldozers heading to Rajasthan’ after BJP win

By: Chandan Borgohain
December 14 2023

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2021 clip from Andhra Pradesh shared as ‘bulldozers heading to Rajasthan’ after BJP win

An old video from 2021 is being shared as a freight train carrying bulldozers to Rajasthan from UP. (Source: Facebook/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

This video was shared two years before the recently concluded polls in Rajasthan. It shows a freight train in Andhra Pradesh.

Claim ID 079fb438

What is the claim?

Following the results of the recently concluded elections in five Indian states, a video is going viral with the claim that it shows tons of bulldozers being sent from Uttar Pradesh to Rajasthan, where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) recorded a thumping victory, securing 115 out of the 199 seats. 

Sharing the video on Facebook, a user wrote that it showed a train going from Uttar Pradesh to Rajasthan with bulldozers to "clear the garbage" created by the Congress in its five years of rule in the state. An archived version of the communally charged post can be viewed here.

The video was shared with a similar claim by another Facebook user (archived here) with an Assamese caption. The English translation of the post read, "Yogi Baba's 50 "bulldozers" leave for Rajasthan". Yogi Baba is a reference to BJP leader and chief minister of Uttar Pradesh (U.P.), Yogi Adityanath.

Screenshot of an Assamese Facebook post sharing the viral video. (Source: Facebook/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, this is an old video from Andhra Pradesh.

The significance of bulldozers

The terms 'bulldozer' and 'bulldozer action' found their way into the Indian political lexicon soon after Yogi Adityanath assumed power in UP. A report by news magazine Outlook observed that Adityanath used 'bulldozer politics' as a tactic ahead of the U.P. Assembly elections in 2022. 

In recent years, bulldozers have emerged as a political tool, seemingly used as punishment for actions seen as transgressions by ruling governments, mostly in states with the BJP in power. The Yogi government has run bulldozers over 'illegal' buildings and demolished the houses of several 'criminals' during its ongoing rule in U.P. Similar actions were taken by BJP state governments in Haryana and Madhya Pradesh. Citing civil society groups, Time magazine also noted that "bulldozers have become a major extrajudicial tool wielded by politicians from the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to destroy homes, businesses, and places of worship of thousands of Muslims."

Where is the video from?

We performed a reverse-image search on one of the keyframes of the clip, and this led us to a longer version of the same video uploaded on YouTube on November 26, 2021, by a verified channel called 'GopiRailworld.'

The video titled "Two Trains OVERTAKES BOMN Rake Freight Train | JCB's on Train | WAP-7 Superb Acceleration | I R" features a freight train leaving a platform before it cuts to a shot showing the moving train on the railway track, as seen in the viral video. Around the 03:37 mark of the YouTube video, we can see the text "WAG-9H 31395 BHILAI with JCB's on BOMN Train." The same text is also visible in the viral clip. 

A comparison between visuals from the viral clip and the original YouTube video. (Source: Facebook/YouTube/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)

According to the description of the YouTube video, it was shot at the Tenali Junction Railway Station in Andhra Pradesh. 

We were able to geo-locate this area in question back to Tenali, Andhra Pradesh, on Google Maps. The white-and-pink colored building and the 'Jesus Heals' graffiti supported by a boundary wall visible in the YouTube video (around the 05:34 timestamp) could also be spotted on Google Street View. 

Similarities between the YouTube clip and the Google Street View image. (Source: YouTube/Google Maps/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)

This establishes that the viral video doesn't show a train transporting bulldozers from Uttar Pradesh to Rajasthan but a freight train running in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. While we could not independently verify the source and destination of the freight train, the viral video has been available online for at least two years. The video predates the 2023 Rajasthan Assembly election and was shot in Andhra Pradesh, where YSR Congress is at the helm and not the BJP.

The verdict

An old video from Andhra Pradesh, available online since November 2021, has been falsely linked to BJP's victory in the recently concluded Rajasthan Assembly election. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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