By: Praveen Kumar
November 20 2023
This image shows screenshots of X posts sharing a video of KTR speaking at a BRS rally in Kodangal in which pro-Congress slogans can be heard.((Source: Facebook/X/Screenshots)
An unrelated audio clip of pro-Congress slogans has been digitally added to a video of a BRS rally in Telangana’s Kodangal.
What is the claim?
The south Indian state of Telangana is going to polls on November 5, and ahead of the elections, a 29-second video clip of Telangana Minister of Information Technology K. T. Rama Rao (KTR) speaking at the state ruling party Bharat Rashtra Samithi’s (BRS) rally is going viral on social media. Slogans in support of Congress, the main opposition party, and Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee President Revanth Reddy can be heard in the viral clip. The captions shared with the video claim that Congress has been performing well in Telangana.
Telangana Congress and Youth Congress have shared this video clip and claim on X (formerly Twitter) and Facebook. Other similar posts on the platforms have raked up thousands of views. Similar archived posts can be found here, here, and here.
This video clip and claim are shared on Facebook with Telugu captions. (Source: Facebook/Screenshots)
The same claim and video are shared on X. (Source: X/Screenshots)
However, the audio of pro-Congress slogans has been digitally added to the viral clip.
What did we find?
We reverse-image searched the screenshots from the viral clip and found many such short clips uploaded to YouTube by regional news outlets on November 9 and 10. We found that the BRS held a road show at Kodangal, Telangana, on November 9. The entire 7-hour event was live-streamed by T News Telugu on YouTube; the viral clip can be seen beginning around the 2:13:12 timestamp.
T News Telugu's livestream of the BRS rally in Kodangal on November 9.
The same can be seen in ABP Desam’s livestream of the same event on YouTube on November 9, starting at the 2:00:25 timestamp. A shorter video of the entire event was also uploaded by T News Telugu on YouTube on the same date, which carries the viral clip. However, neither of the original videos contain audio of the public chanting any pro-Congress slogans.
In the viral video, KTR says that Telangana’s incumbent Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, also known as KCR, will win and become CM for the third time. Right after he says this, the purported pro-Congress chants play in the viral clip. Then KTR jokes by saying, “Is he ours or from Congress?” pointing at someone to his left. Everything except for the pro-Congress slogans is the same as in the original video, suggesting that the audio of the pro-Congress slogans was digitally added to the viral clip. We were unable to trace the source of the chants.
The Telangana Assembly election
BRS’ KCR has been Telangana’s CM since June 2014 and won his ongoing term in December 2018. According to The Indian Express, ahead of the 2023 elections, BRS has shifted its tone while campaigning from talking about its own schemes to telling the public what would happen if Congress came to power. This has led to speculations that the ruling party is being cautious about Congress gaining momentum in the state.
Livestream videos of a BRS rally held in Kodangal on November 9 show that no pro-Congress slogans were raised at the event. The viral clip claiming to show such slogans being raised has been edited and mainly shared by Congress supporters. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.