Plastic perfume bottles in Mumbai BJP’s campaigning kit misidentified as ‘gold biscuits’

By: Soham Shah
May 15 2024

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Plastic perfume bottles in Mumbai BJP’s campaigning kit misidentified as ‘gold biscuits’

A post claiming video shows 'gold biscuit' in BJP campaign kit. (Source: X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

We accessed photos of the BJP kit and found that the object in question is a small, pocket-sized plastic perfume bottle, and not precious metal.

Claim ID c351598a

What is the claim?

A video showing police personnel and some officials checking cartons containing some kits bearing the logo of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is going viral on social media amid the ongoing election season. Sharing the clip, several users have claimed that the BJP distributed 'gold biscuits' during their campaign.

In the video, the officials and police personnel can be seen checking boxes full of BJP kits. Such kits are usually distributed by political parties among voters during campaigning. In the clip, an officer pulls out a white and golden-colored rectangular object from the kit and examines it while someone in the background says in Marathi, "These are gold biscuits." Several other objects can also be seen in the kit, such as masks of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, caps, and other publicity material.

The video is now being shared online, with the claim that the BJP is using 'gold biscuits' to bribe voters in Mumbai's Ghatkopar. "Is this the plan of Modi and Amit Shah to win 400 seats?," one social media user wrote while sharing the video. Archived versions of such posts can be accessed here, here, and here.

Posts claiming the video shows 'gold biscuits' in BJP campaign kit. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, we found that the objects in the video are not "gold biscuits" but pocket-sized plastic perfume bottles.

 What is the truth?

Using a Google search, we found a video report uploaded by local news organization Mumbai TV on YouTube (archived here) on May 10, which carried an extended version of the viral clip. The video also carries footage of Ajay Badgujar, BJP's district vice-president from north-central Mumbai, interacting with media persons as BJP workers surround him. Commenting on the incident, Badgujar asserts that no gold or money was found in the kits. A closer look at the video suggests that the object in question appears to be a small, pocket-sized plastic perfume bottle and not a gold biscuit.

To confirm these details, Logically Facts contacted Afzal Shaikh, who reported on the incident for Mumbai TV.  Shaikh was able to source separate photos of the kit distributed by the saffron party from the office of BJP leader Ram Kadam, a legislator from Ghatkopar. These photos establish that the white and golden objects visible in the viral video were indeed perfume bottles. The nozzle of the bottles is also visible in these photos, confirming that they are not "gold biscuits".

The shirt and perfume bottle that were part of the BJP distribution kit. (Source: Accessed by Logically Facts)

The white-colored bottles also bear a golden sticker pasted on it, with photos of Indian Prime Minister and BJP leader Narendra Modi and Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on one side and the BJP's lotus symbol on the other. 

Comparison of a still from the viral video and a photo of the campaign kit perfume. (Source:YouTube/MUMBAI TV, Accessed by Logically Facts)

We also found an NDTV report (archived here) where journalist Sunilkumar Singh interviews Badgujar, whose family's car the kit in question had been recovered from. Speaking to the news channel, Badgujar said that it was him who said "these are gold biscuits" (in a sarcastic tone) when the perfume bottles were taken out from the kit, as seen in the viral video. 

Explaining the incident in more detail, Badgujar said that his family was traveling in his car at night when they were stopped by an election team squad that took his kin to a police station. He added that he was asked to join them at the station, alleging that they were made to sit there for over three hours, which frustrated him and then he made the sarcastic remarks.

In this interview, Badgujar opens a box similar to that seen in the viral video, containing similar BJP distribution kits. He shows the items kept in the kit and also takes out the rectangular object alleged to be the gold biscuit and clarifies that it is a perfume bottle. He even sprays some perfume onto the camera to prove his point.

Badgujar showing the perfume bottle to NDTV. (Source: NDTV)

Towards the end of the video, the reporter himself holds the plastic perfume bottle and presses it to show that it releases perfume.

Badgujar added that the viral video was originally shared by his own daughter Trupti on her Instagram account (archived here). A report by Marathi newspaper Lokmat noted that Maharashtra Deputy Commissioner of Police Purushattam Karad confirmed that only campaign material was found during the search, not gold biscuits. 

The verdict

We have marked this claim as false, as the object visible in the viral video is a pocket perfume bottle, not a 'gold biscuit.'

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