False: RSS survey predicts Congress' win in the 2023 Karnataka assembly polls by a huge margin.

By: Rajini KG
March 20 2023

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False: RSS survey predicts Congress' win in the 2023 Karnataka assembly polls by a huge margin.


The Verdict False

A fake news clip from Kannada Prabha newspaper is being circulated as a 'report' on a survey by RSS. No such survey was conducted by the outfit.

Claim ID b925d58a


A newspaper clip purportedly from the Kannada Prabha newspaper, claiming to show the results of a survey on the possible outcome of the upcoming Karnataka assembly elections, is circulating widely on social media. A Facebook user shared the clip on March 6, 2023, and wrote: "BJP is going to see a disgraceful defeat in Karnataka??? RSS internal survey revealed.. Congress will come to power in Karnataka by 2023." According to the clip shared in the Facebook post and other similar posts, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)—the parent body of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)— conducted an internal survey and predicted a loss for the BJP in the upcoming polls for the sixteenth Karnataka Assembly. The "survey" also projected that the Congress would win 115-120 seats, BJP 65-70 seats, and Janata Dal (Secular) 29-34 seats in the 224-seat Karnataka assembly, elections for which are expected to be held in May. Further, the purported clip claims that RSS functionary V Nagraj submitted the survey findings to union home minister and BJP leader Amit Shah.

In Fact

On March 15, 2023, Rajesh Kalra, executive chairman of Asianet News, the media group of which Kannada Prabha is a part, tweeted a clarification on this issue. Referring to the viral news clip, he tweeted: "This purported survey conducted by @RSSorg & carried in @kprabhanews is fake. There was no such survey & we didn't carry any such news. We are filing a complaint with the cyber police. Our brand stands for Straight Bold Relentless journalism & that will never be compromised." The same day, the official Twitter account of Kannada Prabha also refuted claims that it had published a story about a survey by RSS on the polls. In a tweet in Kannada, the newspaper called the viral clip and its claim ‘fake news.’

Logically was also able to confirm from sources at Kannada Prabha and the RSS that the newspaper clip shared in the recent posts is fake. We also combed through the newspaper's website, and e-paper archived and found no recent reports on any internal survey by the RSS regarding the upcoming assembly elections. We also searched other relevant news sources for reports on such a survey but did not come across any credible story on the same.

Union minister of state Rajeev Chandrasekhar, who owns the parent company of Asianet, Jupiter Capital, also dismissed claims made in the purported clip and called the article and the survey fake. 

It should be noted that the same newspaper clip was shared widely online five years ago in 2018, ahead of polls for the fifteenth Karnataka assembly. Fact-checking platform BOOM had debunked similar false claims about the clip and the reported survey in May 2018. At the time, RSS spokesperson Rajesh Padmar had informed BOOM that the RSS did not conduct any such survey. Kannada Prabha had also confirmed that it had never published any such article. It is clear, therefore, that the newspaper clip going viral on social media is fake and is recirculating again after being debunked in 2018.

The Verdict

Newspaper Kannada Prabha has denied publishing any article about an RSS survey on the upcoming Karnataka assembly polls. The viral clip was previously shared in 2018 and was deemed fake by the news outlet and the RSS. Therefore, we mark this claim false.

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