2014 video of CM Nitish Kumar demanding special status for Bihar shared as recent

By: Tahil Ali
July 10 2024

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2014 video of CM Nitish Kumar demanding special status for Bihar shared as recent

Screenshot of the video circulating online claiming that it shows a recent march taken out by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)

Fact-Check

The Verdict Misleading

While Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) recently reiterated the demand for a special category status for Bihar, the viral clip is from 2014.

Claim ID cd46aee8

What is the claim?

Several social media users have shared a video of Nitish Kumar, chief minister (CM) of the Indian state of Bihar, allegedly showing him leading a recent foot march demanding 'special category status' for Bihar. This special status is a recognition that allows 'disadvantaged' Indian states to receive additional financial and tax-related support from the central government.

In the 40-second clip, Kumar can be seen walking on a road and speaking to the media. He states that this is a fight for Bihar's rights and that every citizen is agitated. Kumar claims that Seemandhra (the residual state of Andhra Pradesh after the creation of Telangana in 2014) was granted special status within 24 hours with BJP support, while a backward state like Bihar has been ignored. He adds that people are protesting against this discriminatory behavior towards Bihar.

The video has been shared widely on X (formerly Twitter) and Facebook. One X user posted the clip with the caption: "CM Nitish Kumar has taken out a foot march to give special state status to Bihar. What Lalu Yadav said is starting to have an impact!! August is also coming!! (Translated from Hindi)." Archived versions of these posts can be found here and here. 

Screenshots of the video circulating online (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, we found that Kumar's viral video demanding special category status for Bihar is from 2014, not recent.

What are the facts? 

We found no recent reports of Kumar leading a protest demanding special category status for Bihar.

The viral clip featured the logo of the Indian news channel ABP News in the top right corner. Moreover, Kumar appeared to be speaking to an ABP News reporter, as the channel's microphone was visible in the clip.

Using keyframes from the viral clip, we conducted a reverse image search and looked for news reports by ABP News. We found the original video (archived here) uploaded on ABP News' official YouTube channel on March 2, 2014, titled "Nitish Kumar marches to Gandhi Maidan demanding 'special status' to Bihar."

The original video is 49 seconds long. The first 9 seconds show an ABP News reporter walking alongside Kumar and explaining that the Bihar CM is marching to Gandhi Maidan, demanding special category status for Bihar. This initial nine-second segment has been removed from the viral version of the video. 

Screenshot of the original video. (Source: ABP News/Modified by Logically Facts)

We also found several other news reports about Kumar's march in 2014. According to these reports, Kumar called for a day-long complete shutdown in Bihar and staged a five-hour dharna at Gandhi Maidan in Patna, the state capital, on March 2, 2014, demanding special status for Bihar.

Additionally, the Seemandhra region was initially granted special category status in March 2014, but the decision was reversed in June 2014 after the BJP-led government came to power. In the viral clip, Kumar refers to that decision, further confirming that the clip is from 2014, not recent.

Bihar’s special status demand 

Bihar has been seeking special status since 2000, when it was bifurcated, and the state of Jharkhand was carved out of it. Kumar's JDU party, along with other allies, organized several rallies in Patna and New Delhi in 2012 and 2013 to press for their demands.

In November 2023, the Bihar cabinet passed a resolution urging the central government to grant special category status to the state. At a recent JD(U) national executive meeting held in Delhi, the party again emphasized the need for 'special status' for Bihar.

The verdict

While Nitish Kumar continues to demand a special status category for Bihar, the claim is misleading. The viral clip shows a protest march from 2014. The Bihar CM then called for a complete shutdown, describing it as discrimination against Bihar.

(Correction: The story has been updated to reflect that the decision to provide special status to the Seemandhra region was reversed after the BJP-led government came to power in 2014.)

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