Old election campaign against BJP falsely shared as a recent one from Karnataka

By: Vivek J
April 27 2023

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Old election campaign against BJP falsely shared as a recent one from Karnataka


The Verdict Misleading

The ‘No Vote to BJP’ campaign was organized ahead of the 2021 West Bengal polls, and is not related to the upcoming Karnataka elections.

Claim ID 79e78726

As polling day nears in election-bound Karnataka, a video has gone viral on social media claiming that there is a worldwide campaign against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) ahead of the assembly elections. The video features several people holding placards with the text “No vote to BJP” and appears to show Indians in various foreign cities such as California, Berlin, Helsinki, New York, London, and many more. This video has been shared hundreds of times in April 2023. Some posts with this video also have hashtags like #Karnataka and #KarnatakaElection2023, implying that this video campaign is intended for the upcoming elections in May 2023.

In Fact
Upon conducting a reverse image of one of the keyframes of the video, we found several people sharing this video with different captions. Some social media users shared the same video in 2021 with the caption: “Bengalis across the world saying no vote to BJP.” The video seems to be first shared by a Twitter account named ‘No Vote To BJP.’ It is worth noting that the placard held in the video also has writings in Bengali along with the phrase “No Vote To BJP” in English.

We came across several articles detailing a wider campaign against the Narendra Modi-led BJP government. An article by The Wire dated February 28, 2021, noted that “A group of people connected to various social and mass movements came together back in November 2020, which led to the formation of a forum called 'Bengal against Fascist RSS-BJP'. The article further quoted one of the convenors of the forum, Kushal Debnath saying, “Stopping the BJP from coming into power in Bengal is extremely crucial today, otherwise their fascist aggression will gain steam across India.” Debnath also urged people to vote for any party of their choice, except BJP. He also clarified that he was not a Trinamool Congress (TMC) supporter, noted The Wire.

Another article from The Times of India Article dated April 19, 2021, noted that the “No Vote To BJP” campaign was set up in January 2021 by a group of political and civil rights activists in West Bengal. The now-viral video was also shared on the Facebook and Instagram pages of this campaign on April 24, 2021. Thus, it is clear that this video was created as a campaign against the BJP during the 2021 West Bengal Elections.

The Verdict
The video being shared as people across the world uniting against the BJP ahead of the Karnataka assembly elections is at least two years old. This video was created by a campaign group in West Bengal in 2021, for the West Bengal state elections that year. Therefore, we mark this video misleading.

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We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before