No, BJP didn't blur Uttar Pradesh chief minister's face in PM Modi's video

By: Rahul Adhikari
May 14 2024

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No, BJP didn't blur Uttar Pradesh chief minister's face in PM Modi's video

Social media posts claim BJP blurred out CM Adityanath from footage of PM Modi praying in Kashi temple. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict Misleading

The viral video was published by a Hindi news channel and they had blurred the logo of news agency ANI, not Yogi Adityanath's face.

Claim ID 9a1666b5

What is the claim?

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in the norther state of Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi on May 13, a day before he filed his nomination as the Lok Sabha candidate from the Varanasi constituency for the ongoing Indian general election. Modi, who is the sitting Member of Parliament (MP) from the seat, is seeking a third consecutive term from the constituency which will go to the polls on June 1. 

Several social media users shared a clip of Modi offering prayers inside the temple with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath suggesting that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) blurred his face to focus on Modi. 

Supriya Shirnate, Congress chairperson of Social Media & Digital Platforms, shared the video on X (formerly Twitter) and wrote, “A monk was made to sit at the doorstep and his face was also blurred. There is no end to the narcissism of photojeevi!” Rajasthan Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Devender Yadav also shared the video with the same claim. Archived versions of these posts can be seen here, here and here

‘Photojeevi’, a term which seemingly means someone who lives for photos, is a jibe directed at Modi in an apparent reference to the word ‘Andolanjeevi,’ a term popularized by his party against protestors. 

Screenshots of the viral posts. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, the claim is misleading. The party did not blur Adityanath’s face from Modi’s video. ‘Hindi Khabar’, a Hindi language news channel, blurred a watermark of the news agency ANI from a video of Modi’s temple visit, which led to Adityanath’s face being blurred in certain parts of their video.

How did we find the truth?

We noticed a logo of the news channel ‘Hindi Khabar’ on the top-right corner of the video.

Upon reviewing their social media channels, we found that they posted a clarification (archive here) on X on May 14. The media organization posted the extended version of the viral video and stated that they actually blurred out the logo of the news agency ANI, not Adityanath’s face. “The clip in question was accompanied by a very large logo of the ANI news agency. That logo was blurred by a trainee journalist working in 'Hindi Khabar' digital, and not Yogi ji's face,” the statement read.

We watched the over four-minute-long video and noted that the blur remained consistently in the same spot, regardless of the frame, and that parts of the footage did indeed show Adityanath’s face.


Screenshots from the video where Yogi’s face is visible. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)

In several frames, the blur obscured the face of BJP Uttar Pradesh President Chaudhary Bhupendra Singh, seen praying behind Modi and beside Adityanath, and at times even obscured a man who seemed to be an assistant to the priest conducting the ritual prayer.

Screenshots from the video shows the blurred area on the top-right corner obscuring other people in the video. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)

In this longer video, Adityanath’s face is blurred for the first 45 seconds, and he can be seen sitting with Modi for the rest of the video.  However, a small section of this clip has been cropped on social media to claim that Adityanath’s face had been blurred intentionally.

On going through their YouTube channel, we found that Hindi Khabar has previously published several videos (archive here and here) with a blurred area in the top right corner, similar to the viral video.

We also found the original video published by news agency ANI (archive here) on May 13. We compared this video with the one posted by Hindi Khabar and found them to be identical. Only the ANI logo has been blurred, and a header and a footer have been added in the video by Hindi Khabar. 

Image comparison between the video by Hindi Khabar and ANI. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)

Did BJP blur Adityanath's face in their video?

We found that Modi’s visit to the temple was also livestreamed from his official YouTube channel (archive here) on May 13 with the title “PM Modi performs Darshan and Pooja at Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi”.

This video is 10:40-minute-long, and Adityanath’s face is clearly visible throughout the video. Modi can be seen praying around the three-minute mark in this video and Adityanath can be seen sitting behind him. There were no instances where Yogi's face was blurred or obscured. 

Even the party's official YouTube channel shared a shorter version of the video (archive here) and there is no instance where Adityanath's face is blurred. 

The verdict

A video published by a Hindi news channel has been used to claim that BJP blurred out Adityanath’s face from Modi's video. In reality, the news channel blurred out a watermark, which obscured Yogi's face in some parts of the video. The Chief Minister of UP can be clearly seen sitting behind Modi in the extended version of the viral video. Therefore, we have marked the claim as misleading.

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