False: BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia said Modi becoming prime minister is an insult to democracy.

By: Rahul Adhikari
January 27 2023

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False: BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia said Modi becoming prime minister is an insult to democracy.


The Verdict False

An edited version of BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhaita's comment during a news show has been shared with misleading claims.

Claim ID dea6cd72


As the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Opposition Congress remain at loggerheads in India, a video is circulating on Twitter that appears to show BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia saying Narendra Modi becoming the Prime Minister of India is an insult to democracy. The 6-second viral clip shows Bhatia and Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate during a debate on the TV news channel Aaj Tak.

Mohammed Waseem, a Congress functionary, shared the video on Twitter to criticize Bhatia, asking why he had to appear for debates and embarrass the BJP. Waseem's tweet has gone viral, with 1,764 likes and nearly 600 retweets. However, Bhatia's comment has been edited in this clip, making it seem that he was criticizing PM Modi.

In Fact

The original version of the viral video was uploaded on Aaj Tak's YouTube channel on January 21, 2023. Bhatia and Shrinate represented their parties on the channel's news show Halla Bol and discussed the impact of the Bharat Jodo Yatra and the opposition party's take on the march.

At 13:30-minute mark of the 39-minute-long show, Bhatia said, "She's saying you're insulting our party's president. According to her, it's an insult to democracy. Democracy is insulted when Narendra Modi becomes the country's Prime Minister, and he is called 'chowkidar chor hai (the watchman is a thief).'" After that, Gandhi offers an apology by holding his ears. He says, "I am sorry, and I lied before the honorable Supreme Court." However, the viral clip edits Bhatia's comment midway, removing the follow-up context and making it seem that he is speaking against PM Modi. The BJP spokesperson was not criticizing his party or PM Modi but calling out Gandhi for a remark against Modi made in 2019.

In April 2019, in connection with the row over the Rafale deal, then Congress President Rahul Gandhi attacked Modi during a rally with the slogan "chowkidar chor hai." According to an India Today report dated April 22, 2019, he said, "The Supreme Court has made it clear that chowkidarji (watchman) has committed a theft." While Gandhi was later required to apologize for falsely indicting the apex court in his comment, 'chowkidar chor hai" went on to become an anti-BJP slogan used by many Congress members. Eventually, a counter-trend was launched by the BJP, with Modi and other party leaders changing their Twitter handles to include "chowkidar" as they pushed the narrative that the party was watching out for India.

Logically has previously debunked similar claims about Bhatia criticizing the BJP. Bhatia was a spokesperson for the Samajwadi Party for several years before he joined the BJP in 2017.

The Verdict

BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia did not criticize his party or PM Modi. A video of a comment he made about Congress and Rahul Gandhi on a television news show has been edited and shared without context. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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