Photo of BJP leader Smriti Irani holding a fish was taken before Navratri

By: Ishita Goel
April 19 2024

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Photo of BJP leader Smriti Irani holding a fish was taken before Navratri

A screenshot of a social media post claiming to show Smriti Irani holding a fish during Navratri. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The viral photo of Smriti Irani is from April 6, 2024, and predates Navratri 2024, which commenced on April 9.

Claim ID 807b43f9

What is the claim?

In the days leading up to the Indian general elections, which began on Friday, April 19, 2024, an image of Smriti Irani, the Union Minister for Women and Child Development, went viral on social media. The image purportedly showed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader holding a fish during Navratri.

Chaitra Navratri 2024, a nine-day festival on the Hindu lunisolar calendar marking the onset of summer, ran from April 9 to April 17 this year.

Posts on X (formerly Twitter) featured one photo of Irani holding a large fish and another of her holding a portrait of Goddess Durga. Social media users circulated these images to criticize the leader. Uttar Pradesh Congress party leader Deepak Singh shared the photos, commenting, "On the holy festival of Navratri, a fish is in one hand, and a photo of Goddess Durga is in the other! What will B.J.P. friends say?" Archives of similar posts can be found here and here.

Screenshots of the viral posts on social media. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)

These posts were shared shortly after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticized Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Yadav, and his son and Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav for cooking and eating mutton during Navratri and sharing a video of the event.

However, our investigation revealed that the photos of Irani were taken on April 6, 2024, before Navratri began.

What is the reality of the images?

Several media outlets reported on the image of Irani with the fish on April 6. The Times of India posted the image on X, stating, "B.J.P. state secretary Satishkumar hands over a fish to Union minister and party leader Smriti Irani during a campaign for RC Paul Kanagaraj, B.J.P. North Chennai candidate in the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections, on Saturday." The Times of India further reported that Irani received the fish as a gift from fishermen during her campaign in Chennai.

Similarly, Hindustan Times included the photo of Irani with the fish in a post about various parties' election campaigns in India. The photo was captioned, “April 6 - BJP candidate Smriti Irani during an election campaign rally in Chennai North constituency”.

We also found the image of Irani holding the portrait of Goddess Durga in a collage of images that Irani posted on her official X account on April 6. The caption indicated that the photo was taken the same day during her campaign in Chennai.

Irani's saree, jewelry, and overall appearance are identical in both viral images, indicating that they were taken on the same day.

This evidence suggests that the photo was taken before Navratri and shows Irani receiving a gift from a fisherman during her campaign in North Chennai.

The verdict

An image of Irani from her election campaign at North Chennai on April 6 has been shared with the false claim that it shows her holding a fish during Navratri. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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