No, Prime Minister Modi didn't refer to people of Karnataka as ‘sinners’ in poll speech

By: Ishita Goel
April 30 2024

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No, Prime Minister Modi didn't refer to people of Karnataka as ‘sinners’ in poll speech

The image shows a screenshot of a social media post falsely claiming to show a video of Modi referring to the people of Karnataka as sinners. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict Misleading

The extended version of the video reveals that the Indian prime minister was referencing the Congress in Karnataka, not the residents of Karnataka.

Claim ID 082f3e0b

What is the claim?

On April 29, 2024, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held public meetings in Davanagere and Belagavi, cities in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, as part of his ongoing campaign for the 2024 general elections.

A clip from Modi's speech at these meetings went viral, with allegations that the prime minister labeled the people of Karnataka as 'sinners' who should be punished in this election. In the clip, Modi can be heard stating in Hindi, "You should punish these ‘people of Karnataka’ for the sins they have committed in this election. And Modi also gives you a guarantee in the coming years..."

This clip (archived here) has been widely shared on social media with captions such as, "Just because Kannadigas voted out BJP, PM Modi thinks that Kannadigas have committed a sin. Why does he hate Kannadigas?"

The official X (formerly Twitter) account of Congress Kerala posted (archived here), "Modi has clearly lost it. He is scoring goal after goal in his own post. He has now called the people of Karnataka sinners. Karnataka is known to respond to such insults with a tight slap! BJP will be wiped out in the state."

Gaurav Pandhi, an AICC (All India Congress Committee) coordinator at the office of Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, according to his X bio, captioned the video (archived here) as, "Just because the people of Karnataka voted against the BJP, PM Modi thinks they have committed a sin (Karnataka walo ne paap kiya hai)."

Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka, DK Shivakumar, wrote in Kannada on X (archived here), "Is this statement of Prime Minister Modi an embarrassment of the defeat in the Assembly elections? Or is it the frustration that Kannadigas are rejecting the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections?"

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

What are the facts?

We found the complete speech from April 28, streamed live on Modi's official YouTube channel and captioned as ‘PM Modi Live | Public meeting in Belagavi, Karnataka | Lok Sabha Election 2024.’ While Modi did make this statement at the 32:00 timestamp of the video, the context in which the clip is being shared is misleading.

What’s the actual context? 

During his speech, from around 29:00 onwards in the video, Modi spoke about the various benefits enjoyed by Indian farmers under BJP rule before criticizing the Karnataka Congress government around the 31:04 mark. He claimed that "the betrayal that Congress has done to the farmers ‘here’ is a big sin." Clearly, by ‘here,’ the PM was referring to Karnataka.

He said, “When the BJP ruled here, 10,000 rupees used to be deposited in farmers' accounts. The Congress stopped giving 4,000 rupees just after coming to power. After they managed to secure their vote, they stopped caring about the farmers and their work. The remaining six thousand is what the Modi government sends, which the farmers receive. They deducted the part of the money given here.” Modi further assured that the farmers would continue receiving money from PM Kisan Samman Nidhi.

Referring to the above, Modi next said, "You should punish these Karnataka people for the sins they have committed in this election, and Modi gives you a guarantee that whatever is sent from Delhi will continue in the coming years."

It becomes clear that Modi was criticizing the Congress government in Karnataka when he referred to them as ‘Karnataka walon,’ when the entire part of the speech following 31:00 is read as a whole for the correct context.

A Deccan Herald report from August 10, 2023, titled ‘Resume annual payments of Rs 4,000 to farmers: BJP to Karnataka govt,’ further confirms that Modi was talking about Karnataka when he was referring to ‘Congress stopping 4000 rupees to farmers’. The report confirmed that the topic was a long-standing criticism of the Congress government in Karnataka by the BJP.

The transcript of the speech, available on Modi’s website, corroborates this. It reads, “These Congress individuals should be punished for the sins they have committed in this election.”

Screenshots of the transcript. (Source: Narendra Modi Website/Modified by Logically Facts)

What is Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi?

PM Kisan is a Central Sector scheme that the Government of India fully funds. It’s designed to supplement the financial needs of the Small and Marginal Farmers (SMFs) by helping them procure various inputs. This ensures optimal crop health and yields that align with the expected farm income at the end of each crop cycle. On February 28, Modi released the 16th installment of the PM KISAN scheme.

The verdict

This clip from Modi’s speech in Belagavi has been selectively edited and circulated without context, leading us to mark the claim as misleading. Although the viral clip is unaltered and Modi did utter the exact words, it’s being shared with a misleading interpretation that he was referring to the people of Karnataka, not the Congress government in Karnataka.

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