By: Ankita Kulkarni
May 9 2023
A longer video confirms Kharge was standing after greeting Gandhi as he was about to address the rally immediately after.
The southern Indian state of Karnataka is going to polls tomorrow for 224 legislative assembly seats. Ahead of the elections, several unrelated and misleading videos are being shared on social media that target political parties.
One such video shared by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) IT cell chief Amit Malviya claimed that Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge was recently seen waiting for a former party president Sonia Gandhi's instruction to sit down during a rally in Karnataka. In the video, one can see Kharge standing even after greeting Gandhi.
The exact video was also shared by a senior advisor at the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Kanchan Gupta. The video caption reads, "To sit or not to sit. A forlorn Mr @kharge wringing his hands, wondering whether Sonia Gandhi forgot to tell him he can sit or snubbed him by not telling him he could sit." However, the video has been cropped and shared with an incorrect claim.
A reverse image search on the screenshot taken from the viral video led us to a longer version that was uploaded on Congress’s official YouTube channel on May 6, 2023. The same video from the rally was also shared on the YouTube channel by Navbharat Times. The video is from a political rally that was held in Hubbali, Karnataka. At around 22:19 minute mark, Sonia Gandhi finishes her speech and can be seen moving towards the podium.
She comes and sits on the chair, while Kharge could be seen standing here. The announcer then goes on to call Kharge to address the crowd and he moves towards the podium. This can be seen around 22:54 minutes in the video. Clearly, he wasn’t waiting for an approval from Gandhi, who herself stands up when he goes for his speech.
A cropped video from a Congress rally has been circulated with an incorrect context to claim that Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge was waiting for former President Sonia Gandhi's permission to sit down. Therefore, we have marked the claim as misleading.