Unrelated advert from 2022 shared as Congress' video on its 'Mahalakshmi' scheme

By: Ishita Goel
May 24 2024

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Unrelated advert from 2022 shared as Congress' video on its 'Mahalakshmi' scheme

Screenshot of a social media post falsely claiming to show a promotional video by Congress for the ‘Mahalakshmi' scheme. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

First half of the viral clip shows a 2022 advertisement released by Prega News. It wasn't released as campaign material for the women-oriented scheme.

Claim ID e7353b61

What is the claim?

A clip has gone viral claiming to show a campaign video by the Indian National Congress (INC) on its 'Mahalakshmi' scheme that promises one lakh rupees annually to one woman from all families living below the poverty line in India. 

In the purported Congress campaign video, a woman questions a lady cleaning what appears to be a waiting room at a clinic or a hospital, suggesting that balancing her professional work and motherhood has caused the latter to fall behind in life. The video then shows a clip of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi talking about the scheme and saying that the party will deposit one lakh rupees a year in the bank accounts of crores of women, which comes down to 8,500 rupees per month for the beneficiaries. The video also featured former Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her daughter and Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi.

Social media users have shared the video with captions saying, "Congress party has released a brilliant campaign video on Mahalakshmi Scheme. It shows the struggle of women & how Mahalakshmi Scheme will transform their lives. This video should be played during IPL ads & TV breaks for mass impact (sic)." Archived versions of these posts can be viewed here and here.

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

However, we found that the viral video used a portion of an advertisement launched by a pharmaceutical company in 2022. The bit showing some women interacting is unrelated to Congress' 'Mahalakshmi' scheme. 

What are the facts?

On conducting a reverse image search, we found that the portion in the beginning of the viral clip dates back to 2022. Prega News, a pregnancy detection kit manufactured by pharmaceutical company Mankind, published a longer version of the video on its YouTube  (archived here) channel on February 19, 2022.

They captioned the video "Celebrate Women's Day 2022 With Prega News | #SheCanCarryBoth | Sayantani Ghosh." The description box read, "Being a mom is extremely rewarding, but does that ever take a toll on your ambitions and dreams? This Women's Day with Prega News, it's time to break free from the nay-sayers of society and bring in confidence to women that #SheCanCarryBoth! (sic)"

The segment used in the viral clip runs between the 0:42 mark and the 1:11 timestamp of the Prega News video. 

Also, in March 2022, a website dedicated to the marketing industry, Mad Over Marketing (MOM), wrote an article on the 'Best Women's Day Campaigns Of 2022.' One of the campaigns included the Prega News advertisement mentioned above. They wrote, "In this campaign, we see how four different women view motherhood and how their approach shapes those around them. It poses a question which many women have heard before—How do you manage both?"

Rahul Gandhi clip in the viral video

We found that the particular clip of Rahul Gandhi is from a Congress rally (archive here) held on April 24, in Solapur, a city in the West Indian state of Maharashtra. We discovered that various portions of Gandhi's speech during this rally have been combined to show his message in the viral video. 

Gandhi says between 7:46-7:55 timestamps, "Indian women work for eight hours outside the house, and then they work for another 8 hours at the house (translated from Hindi)." Then, between 8:18 and 8:27, he says, "They cook food, take care of the children, but they don't get paid for it or get any compensation (translated)," as also heard in the viral clip. From 8:34 to 8:43, he says, "So that's why Congress party is bringing the Mahalakshmi scheme." Further, between the 9:38 and the 10:00 mark, he says, "For crores of women congress party will deposit one lakh rupees for the year in their bank accounts, one lakh rupees for a year means monthly 8500 rupees in their bank accounts." All of these sentences have been stitched together and they play after the Prega News ad in the viral clip. 

Original promotional videos for Congress' 'Mahalakshmi' scheme 

Congress posted two videos on its YouTube channel on April 26 and May 14, respectively, to promote the Mahalakshmi scheme. However, neither video appears to be similar to the viral video in terms of theme, visuals, actors, etc. 

The verdict

The clip going viral as part of a promotional video of Congress' 'Mahalakshmi' scheme is actually an advertisement created for a pregnancy detection kit in 2022. Therefore, we have marked the claim as false. 

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