Rajasthan polls: Lies, fake news aplenty by pol parties

As voters in Rajasthan are two days away from queuing up in lines to cast their votes, DH recounts the lies, fake news, and misinformation peddled by both ruling and opposition parties during their campaign. 

Pakistan Zindabad in Siddu's rally

A doctored video of Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Siddu was circulated on social media. In the clip, the audience is shouting 'Pakistan Zindabad' (long live Pakistan), as he addresses a rally in Rajasthan's Alwar. Television channels like Zee TV aired the video. The doctored video was presumably shared to stir up patriotic fervor while disparaging Siddu and the Congress' image as the former had visited Pakistan twice in four months.

The Congress hit back at the fake video by publishing the original video of his speech.


BBC opinion poll predicting BJP sweep

A fake opinion poll with BBC's homepage URL surfaced on social media, which predicted a clear victory for BJP in Rajasthan. The survey was widely circulated on right-wing WhatsApp groups. 

The prepoll shows forecasts in months from June to November. In June, it forecasted 160+ seats for Congress and 30 seats for BJP. The numbers drop to 150 and 40 in July and again to 135 and 50 in August. As per the latest update, the fake opinion poll predicts 135 for BJP and 60 for Congress on November 28. The post ultimately predicts 145 and 50 for BJP and Congress respectively on December 11 if this trend continues. 

According to Alt News, the BBC has not released any such poll survey in India. Speaking to the fact-checking portal, a BBC spokesperson said the "We’d like to make absolutely clear that it is fake and does not come from the BBC. The BBC does not commission pre-election surveys in India.”

A similar fake survey with BBC URL had been in a circulation on WhatsApp during the Karnataka Assembly elections in May this year. The survey had similarly forecasted a clear victory for BJP in the election. BBC team had rubbished the survey at the time.


Virender Sehwag to campaign in Rajasthan

Rashtriya Loktantrik Party published an advertisement of their party's rally in Asind, Bhilwara in local newspapers in Rajasthan. The ad claimed that former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag would address the rally with party leaders.

Sehwag's tweet
Sehwag's tweet. (Courtesy: Tabeenah Anjum)

Sehwag shared the screenshot of the ad on Twitter and captioned it as "Liar Alert". He denied having any knowledge about the event and claimed that none of the organizers contacted him to attend that programme. 

Pakistan Flag in Gehlot's rally

Pakistan is always bound to create news in India and so it naturally created an online furor when image and videos appeared on social media which showed Congress leader and former Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot waving a Pakistan flag at an election rally. 


Image courtesy: Alt News

On a closer look, however, it emerged that it was not, in fact, a Pakistani flag but instead was a flag widely used by Muslims in India. The green flag with a crescent and star is part of the Muslim community for a long time. It is widely used during religious ceremonies like Milad ud Nabi and other festivities. Pakistan was influenced by it and made their own flag with a white patch on the left side.

Surjewala attacks Raje based on a truncated video

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala shared a video of him speaking in a programme organized by AajTak TV. He claimed that the chief minister of Rajasthan Vasundhara Raje had advised the party workers to divert the attention of the people from real issues like roads, water, and electricity.

He attacked Raje based on a video recording from one of her public programme where she allegedly said these things. But in fact, as it turns out, she was attacking the Congress party. The widely circulated recording was uploaded a Congress worker which only showed a part of the whole statement. BJP Rajasthan, set the record straight by sharing the longer video of the programme on Facebook.

However, Surjewala has not taken down his tweet yet.

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