Old video of BJP's Vasundhara Raje falsely linked to recent Rajasthan elections

By: Annet Preethi Furtado
December 7 2023

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Old video of BJP's Vasundhara Raje falsely linked to recent Rajasthan elections

Screenshots of the viral claim that a video shows Vasundhara Raje congratulating Ravindra Singh Bhati for winning the Rajasthan state elections. (Source: X/Facebook/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The video dates back to August 2021 and shows BJP leader Vasundhara Raje congratulating Neeraj Chopra for his gold medal win at the Tokyo Olympics.

Claim ID d3fde4bf

On November 25, 2023, elections were held in Rajasthan to elect 199 out of the 200 members of the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly. The results, announced on December 3, 2023, saw the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerge victorious, securing a majority with 115 seats, while the Congress party won 69 seats. Notably, former Chief Minister and BJP leader Vasundhara Raje achieved a significant victory in the Jhalrapatan constituency, winning by a margin of 53,193 votes, representing 59.5 percent of the total votes cast. Meanwhile, independent candidate Ravindra Singh Bhati won in the Sheo constituency of Barmer.

What's the claim?

Following the exit poll results on December 1, a 12-second video clip showing Raje, dressed in a blue saree and engaged in a phone conversation, went viral on social media. In the video, Raje is heard saying, "Namaskar, and let me congratulate you for the most amazing victory," to which the person on the other end responds, "Thank you so much, ma'am." Raje adds, "Because it makes us so proud, all of us."

The video was circulated with Hindi captions suggesting that Raje was attempting to woo independents by congratulating BJP rebel Ravindra Bhati on his victory in the Shiv Assembly constituency. Archived posts can be accessed here and here.

Screenshots of posts on X and Facebook claiming that Raje extended congratulations to Bhati for his victory in the Shiv Assembly via a phone call. (Source: X/Facebook/Screenshots/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, the footage dates back to August 2021, when Raje spoke to Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra to congratulate him on his victory at the Tokyo Olympics.

What did we find?

No news reports suggest the BJP National vice president engaged in a phone conversation with Bhati.

A reverse image search of keyframes from the clip led to a post by First India, an English newspaper in Rajasthan, dated 2021 on platform X. This post contained a 38-second extended version of the viral clip, clarifying that it showed a conversation between Raje and Chopra after his gold medal win at the Tokyo Olympics. The viral video is a cropped version that omits part of the original footage.

In the full video, Raje congratulates Chopra and expresses her pride. She thanks someone named Shailesh for the opportunity to convey her wishes, mentions celebrations in Jhalawar, and extends her best wishes. Chopra responds with a "Thank you, ma'am," and Raje replies, "Thank you, and it is a great pleasure talking to you."

A screenshot from First India's post on X, dated August 12, 2021, states that the video depicts Raje congratulating Olympian Neeraj Chopra. (Source: X/First India/Modified by Logically Facts)

The extended version of the clip was also posted on Raje's official Instagram account on August 11, 2021. The Hindi caption translates to, "Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra has brought glory to the country and made us all proud. I talked to him yesterday evening and congratulated him on winning the gold medal in #Tokyo2020 and also expressed his heartfelt gratitude on behalf of everyone. I wish Neeraj a bright future."

Chopra’s victory at Tokyo Olympics

In August 2021, Chopra clinched a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 with a remarkable throw of 87.58 meters in the men's javelin throw competition. This victory was historic as Chopra became the first Asian man to win gold in the Olympic javelin throw event and India’s first track and field athlete to become an Olympic champion.

The verdict

A cropped video from 2021 is falsely being used to depict a conversation between BJP leader Raje and Independent MLA Ravindra Singh Bhati after the Rajasthan elections. In reality, the clip shows Raje congratulating javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra on his Olympic gold medal win, not Bhati.

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