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Fact Check: Clipped Video Shared As Rahul Gandhi Refused Lord Vitthal’s Idol

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The Congress leader, Rahul Gandhi, recently gave his speech at the Kisan Mahapanchayat in Nashik, Maharashtra, during his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief, Sharad Pawar, and Sanjay Raut of Shiv Sena (UBT) were also present at the event.

Against the backdrop, a video has surfaced on social media, claiming that Gandhi is declining to accept a Lord Vitthal idol offered by one of his party supporters. Lord Vitthal is a highly respected local deity in Maharashtra and Karnataka.

A Facebook user posted with a caption: “Rahul Gandhi comes to Maharashtra & insults our most beloved deity, Lord Vitthal of Pandharpur. Zero respect for our religious beliefs & no knowledge of our culture, his body language shows he considers himself even above god! Maharashtrians will not tolerate this misbehaviour! #CongressBharatViroddhi#CongressMuktBharat#ModiKaHaathBharatKeSaath @highlight”.

The above post can be seen here.

The video was also shared by Amit Malviya of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the official Maharashtra BJP account on their respective official accounts on X. (Archive), (Archive).

FACT CHECK

NewsMobile fact-checked the above claim, and found it to be Misleading. 

Running the video keyframes through Reverse Image Search, the NM team traced a video posted on X on March 14 by Nana Patole, president of the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee. Here, he can be seen accepting the idol and posing with it for a photograph. Patole claimed that BJP members were disseminating the viral clip accompanied by false information when sharing it.

With a keyword search, we came to know that the video of the entire incident was posted by Oneindia News on March 14, 2024. The relevant segment occurs between the 13-minute and 14-minute-30-second timestamps.

The sequence of events unfolded as follows:

Initially, an individual placed a turban on Rahul Gandhi’s head. Meantime, another person attempted to present an idol to him, but was interrupted twice by others on the stage while people were garlanding Gandhi. Subsequently, the Congress leader removed both the turban and the garlands, and then accepted the idol.

Hence, it’s evident that the viral video was edited and shared with misleading claims.


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