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Fact Check: Clipped Video of Mann’s Recent Speech Goes Viral with Misleading Claims

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Farmers’ union Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) had been protesting against the non-payment of sugarcane dues and compensation for damaged cotton crops. The agitation was finally called off on August 3, 2022, when Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann agreed to most of their demands, including clearance of all the bills of sugarcane farmers.

Against this backdrop, a viral video of Mann claiming that farmers owe ₹294 crore to the government, is doing the rounds on social media. 

A Facebook user posted the viral video with a caption: ਸਵੇਰੇ ਈ ਡੱਫ ਆਇਆ ਕਿ ਰਾਤ ਵਾਲੀ ਨੀ ਉੱਤਰੀ ਅਖੇ ਗੰਨਾ ਕਿਸਾਨਾਂ ਨੇ ਸਰਕਾਰ ਦਾ 294 ਕਰੋੜ ਦੇਣਾ ਭਲਾ ਸਰਕਾਰ ਨੇ ਕਿਸਾਨਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਗੰਨਾ ਵੇਚਿਆ ਸੀ? 

You can watch the video here.

FACT CHECK

NewsMobile fact-checked the viral video, and found it to be misleading. 

The 15-second video looks like a TV clipping at first glance. Looking closely at the video, we noticed a logo with Prime Asia on the top right corner of the screen. Running a Google Keyword Search for the same, we came to know that the logo is of Prime Asia TV  a Punjabi news channel from Canada.

Through the Google Keyword Search, we also found one video, dated August 5, 2022, with a title: Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann ਦੇ ਧਮਾਕੇਦਾਰ ਫੈਸਲੇ – ਵਿਰੋਧੀ ਕਰਾਤੇ ਚੁੱਪ ! (English translation: Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann’s explosive decisions opposition karate silence!) posted on the official YouTube page of Prime Asia TV, indicating that the viral video is taken from his recent speech. 

At 27:23 Mann can be heard saying “I want to tell you that ₹294.98 crore of the government were due towards the farmers. It was pending for many years. The honourable finance minister is sitting here, and he handles the co-operative department.” The words and the video keyframes match exactly with the viral video. 

Continuing his speech, he says: “We’ve already transferred ₹100 crore in the accounts of the sugarcane farmers; on August 15, we’ll deposit ₹100 crore more, and the rest of ₹94.98 crore will be deposited on September 7. Therefore, the government’s liability towards the sugarcane farmers will be zero then.” 

Also, the same speech dated August 5, 2022 has been live-streamed on the CM’s official Twitter handle. The livestream was titled: ਸੂਬਾ ਪੱਧਰੀ ਸਮਾਗਮ ਮੌਕੇ ਪ੍ਰਿੰਸ ਵਿਲਾ, ਧੂਰੀ ਤੋਂ Live…. (English translation: Live from Prince Villa, Dhuri, on the occasion of state-level event.)

This proves that the viral video has been clipped from the original 37-minute speech given by Bhagwant Mann in Dhuri, on August 5, 2022. Contrary to the viral claim, the Punjab government is aiding farmers by clearing off all the pending bills that are owed by the government to farmers. 

Therefore, we can conclusively say that the viral video claiming that farmers owe ₹294.98 crore to Punjab government, is misleading. 

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