By: Rohith Gutta
April 27 2023
The video is from November 2022, when a BJP campaign vehicle was attacked before the by-poll elections in Telangana's Munugode constituency.
The south Indian state of Karnataka is gearing up for assembly elections that will be held on May 10. The campaign by all the contesting parties is in full swing and as they battle it out on all frontiers, social media is awash with campaigns by the parties involved.
On April 24, 2023, the official Twitter handle of Karnataka Congress shared a video clip with the claim in Kannada, which when translated, reads: “BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) which was holding convention of empty chairs continues to face public outrage. Not only the BJP candidates, but even seeing the BJP's campaign vehicle, people are disgusted and outraged. Every stone that landed on the vehicle is the answer to the price rise, corruption, fraud and mismanagement(sic).” The tweet has over 86,000 views and more than 1,300 likes. The video shows a vehicle with BJP campaign branding being attacked from two sides by a huge crowd. This clip was tweeted by many users. A user named ‘Брат’ tweeted the clip with the caption, “Karnataka voters felicitating a BJP Karnataka campaign vehicle very lovingly during an election rally. #KarnatakaElection2023.” This tweet has more than 201,000 views and over 1,500 retweets.
The campaign vehicle seen in the video has words etched on it in Telugu. At the same time, the people attacking the vehicle are seen carrying pink-colored flags and donning pink scarves and t-shirts. While Telugu is the official language of both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, pink is the official color of the flag of the ruling party of Telangana, Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS, erstwhile Telangana Rashtra Samithi(TRS)).
A search on Youtube with keywords about a possible attack by TRS cadre on a BJP campaign vehicle yielded multiple videos and one such video news report was posted by India Today on November 2, 2022, with the title, ‘BJP & TRS Workers Clash On Last Day Of Munugode Bypoll Campaign’. This video shows the same visuals that have now been shared online.
A search on Twitter with keywords regarding an attack on a BJP campaign vehicle in Munugode showed tweets posted by G Kishan Reddy on November 1, 2022. G. Kishan Reddy is a BJP Member of Parliament (MP) from Secunderabad and is the Union Minister of Culture, Tourism and Development of the North Eastern Region. He shared clips of the attack on the vehicle with the text, “The frustration & desperation of TRS over losing the Munugode By-poll is evident from the attack on Sr leader, @BJP4India National Executive Member & MLA Sh @Eatala_Rajender Garu & his wife in Munugode. I strongly condemn the attack on Smt & Sh Rajender garu & our Karyakartas.” In another tweet, he wrote, “Violence and tyranny has no place in democracy and this will be re-established with the mandate Munugode will provide in the ensuing by-election.” The campaign vehicle and the attack, as visible in the viral clip, can also be seen clearly in the videos shared by Reddy..
News channel India TV had also reported about the attack on the BJP campaign vehicle, with the headline ‘Telangana: Clash breaks out between TRS and BJP workers during Munugode by-election campaign | WATCH’. The video, too, has visuals of the campaign vehicle under attack. One can see that it is the same campaign vehicle under attack from people carrying pink flags and donning pink scarves and t-shirts. This shows that the video is, in fact, from 2022, and is not a recent video from Karnataka.
A 2022 video of a crowd attacking a BJP campaign vehicle in Telangana’s Munugode is being circulated as an attack on a BJP campaign in Karnataka which will go to polls soon. Therefore, we mark this claim false.