By: Ishita Goel
January 12 2023
Gandhi accidentally referred to India's population in crore rupees, but corrected himself immediately. A part of the clip has been edited.
The Indian National Congress'S (INC) ongoing 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' led by Rahul Gandhi has completed over 100 days. Since it began, the yatra has been the focus of multiple false claims and misinformation. On January 6 and 7, a video clip of Gandhi speaking in Hindi about the country's economic condition and the population was shared on Twitter. In the clip, he says, "I want to speak about the economic condition of the country." He then adds, "The country's population is 140 crores rupees." The clip was shared with this last line repeating twice, and was captioned in Hindi. Several users shared the clip mocking the Congress leader.
Several opposition party members including Sambit Patra, Amit Malviya, Dr. Richa Rajpoot, and Shehzad Poonawalla, tweeted this clip ridiculing Gandhi. Their tweets have received thousands of likes and views combined. However, the clip has been edited to spread a certain narrative targeting Gandhi.
Using keywords and reverse image search, we found a 3:41 minutes-long clip of the speech on the INC's official YouTube channel published on January 7, 2023. INC wrote the description in Hindi "Why did Rahul Gandhi suddenly ask about the population of India? Rahul Gandhi's speech. Haryana." At around 0:54 seconds, the video matches the start of the viral video, and at around 0:59, we hear Gandhi saying 140 crore rupees. However, he corrects himself the next second, saying 140 crore people. Earlier in the video, too, he says 140 crore and not crore rupees when referring to the population of India.
Similarly, INC published the full video of Gandhi's speech at Haryana on January 6. We found the viral section of Gandhi's speech at around 2:00 minutes. Here too, we noted that he corrects himself and refers to 140 crore people while speaking about wealth distribution and economic inequity in the country. Hindustan Times, on January 6, reported on Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Yatra rally at Panipat, Haryana. The report carried a summary of Gandhi's speech in which he addressed the people of Panipat and mentioned that the Congress leader said, "the country's population is 140 crores."
During the rally, which took place amid the Bharat Jodo Yatra, Gandhi targeted the centre over the economic condition of India. He said that the country's population is 140 crore, out of which "100 richest people of the country have 50 percent of the total wealth of the country." Further, Gandhi spoke about the air of Panipat and stated that the introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and demonetization have ruined businesses. He further alleged that the government has divided India into two - one where "poor and common people live and another India in which 200-300 people who have all the wealth live." He also spoke about many other issues and policies, such as the Centre's Agnipath scheme and the three farm laws, and raised concerns regarding it.
Rahul Gandhi and his speeches have often been the source of misinformation, with videos being misinterpreted, edited, and made viral. Previously in September 2022, a claim went viral that Gandhi said that flour is sold in liters. Logically fact-checked it and found that he had indeed said this but immediately corrected himself.
Rahul Gandhi accidentally said that the population of India is 140 crore rupees during a recent rally at Panipat, but he corrected himself the very next second. However, an edited video of his speech, not including the correction, has gone viral with a certain narrative. Therefore, we have marked this claim as misleading.