By: Rahul Adhikari
October 5 2023
Social media posts claiming that Rahul Gandhi praised Narendra Modi. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)
The Congress leader actually took a jibe at the PM in the longer video. He was referring to Modi's statement on hoisting the Tricolor in Kashmir.
What is the claim?
A video of Indian politician and opposition leader Rahul Gandhi is circulating on social media with the claim that he praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and leaders of the reigning Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) after seeing the people of Kashmir hoisting the Indian national flag, the Tricolor. The 54-second-long viral video shows Congress leader Gandhi saying, "In India's most terrorist-infested district, wherever you look, there's the Tricolor – Tricolor, Tricolor everywhere. Who raised the Tricolor? We had only 125 travelers. It was the people of Kashmir who raised the Tricolor. Not just one person, but thousands of people raised flags. The story is the same for the entire Kashmir. Anantnag, Pulwama – which are called terrorist-infested districts – in every district, on mountains, roads, in the front and back, you can see the Tricolor. In whose hands? In the hands of Kashmiri youths."
The viral clip is divided into two parts: the top part shows Gandhi speaking, while the lower part displays an image of Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah smiling while looking at a phone. Several users shared the video on X (formerly Twitter) with the caption, "Rahul Gandhi is also praising PM Modi's policies. He said that the Tricolor is flying even in terrorism-affected areas." One such post has gained 271 likes and 259 reposts. Archived versions of the viral posts can be found here and here.
Screenshots of the viral posts shared on X. (Source: X/Screenshots/Modified by Logically Facts)
However, a cropped video of Gandhi speaking at a rally in Raipur in February is being shared to make the false claim.
What did we find?
Upon conducting a reverse image search on the keyframes of the viral video, we found that the clip -was taken from a speech that Gandhi delivered on February 26. The original speech, which went on for more than 50 minutes, was live-streamed on Gandhi's official YouTube channel. We found that the Congress leader was addressing the 85th Plenary Session of the Indian National Congress, which took place between February 24 and February 26 in Raipur, Chhattisgarh. The viral clip in question was cropped from the 29:50-mark to the 30:53-mark, and it was shared out of context to falsely claim that Gandhi praised Modi and the BJP after seeing people in Kashmir waving the Indian Tricolor.
In reality, the Congress leader took a jibe at Modi in his speech just after the statements captured in the viral video. Gandhi said, "I heard the PM's speech in Parliament. He said he unfurled the Indian Tricolor flag at Lal Chowk (Srinagar, Kashmir). I was listening, I thought, the Prime Minister of India didn't understand. Narendra Modi went with 15-20 BJP leaders and unfurled the Tricolor at Lal Chowk. Bharat Jodo Yatra caused the flag to be hoisted by the hands of lakhs of youths of Kashmir. The PM didn't understand the difference. We instilled the love for Hindustan, the love for the Tricolor flag in the youths of Jammu and Kashmir. You snatched away the love for the Tricolor flag from the youths of Jammu and Kashmir. That's the difference between you and us."
This part of Gandhi's speech was also shared from the official X account of Congress on February 26.
What was the context of Gandhi's remarks?
According to an India Today report dated February 26, at the Chhattisgarh rally, Gandhi slammed Modi after the prime minister took a subtle jibe in the Parliament on February 8 at the Congress leader, who had just completed the Bharat Jodo Yatra. Modi recalled the Ekta Yatra of 1991 and said, "I am talking of the last century, I had raised the Tricolor at Lal Chowk back then." The Ekta Yatra was a political march organized by the BJP in 1991.
News outlet Hindustan Times also reported similar details and said, "Gandhi compared Modi hoisting the flag to his during the Bharat Jodo Yatra, where he claimed lakhs of youth joined him during the event."
The viral video purportedly showing Gandhi praising Modi and BJP leaders for the display of the Indian flag in Kashmir has been shared out of context. A cropped version of Gandhi's speech in Chattisgarh was circulated to make the claim. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.