With polls due next week in Uttar Pradesh, usage of political misinformation as a tool to target opponents is becoming increasingly frequent. Senior BJP leaders and spokespersons, including Sambit Patra and Prashant Umrao on Saturday were amongst those who shared a video on Twitter alleging that slogans of ‘Pakistan banana hai’ (we have to make Pakistan) were raised in a Samajwadi rally in UP’s Bithoor, in Kanpur district. Newschecker has however found that the claim is false as the slogans that were raised referred to a completely different issue.
Among those who shared the video was BJP’s sitting MLA from Bithoor, Abhijit Singh Sanga. While Sambit Patra’s tweet has been deleted, Prashant Umrao’s tweet is still available and had over 2,500 retweets at the time of publishing.
The BJP campaign which, initially focused on development, is increasingly digressing to attacking the Samajwadi party with an advertising blitz comparing Akhilesh Yadav’s time as CM with that of current BJP government with the tagline ‘farq saaf hai’. With only 5 days remaining for the first phase of polling to happen in the 58 districts, ‘Pakistan’ seems to have finally made its entry into election campaign conversation in U.P.
Several other users also shared the same video on social media condemning the Samajwadi Party and Akhilesh Yadav.
The video in which SP supporters can be heard saying ‘pakistan banan hai’ was also widely shared on Facebook.
Uttar Pradesh Elections 2022
Uttar Pradesh, currently ruled by the BJP with Yogi Adityanath as Chief minister, is heading into a 7 phase state assembly election starting from February 10. The state has 403 districts and the battle is turning out to be a no-holds-barred campaign between the SP and the BJP.
To find the authenticity of the claim, Newschecker conducted a keyword search on Twitter and Facebook for the official page of Munindra Shukla, the SP candidate at whose rally the pro-Pakistan slogans were allegedly raised.
We found a video statement by Munindra Shukla in which he claims that the video circulating is edited and that the slogans raised were not ‘Pakistan banana hai’, and accused the BJP for it.
Newschecker also contacted Munindra Shukla who reiterated that the video was edited. “The campaign slogan was ‘mati chor bhagana hai’ and not ‘Pakistan banana hai’.” Shukla then explained that ‘mati chor” was used to refer to allegations of illegal sandmining in the area. He said , “You see Bithoor is on the banks of river Ganges and in the last five years, illicit sand mining has been going on in Bithoor in the night time with the blessing of the sitting MLA from the BJP, Abhijeet Singh Sanga. The locals are fed up. That‘s why the campaign slogan said ‘mati chor bhagana hai’, which has been edited’’.
We also found the original video posted by Muninder Shukla on his Facebook page, where it is evident that the slogan raised is ‘mati chor bhagana hai’ and not ‘Pakistan banana hai’.
Newschecker also obtained the complaint registered by Shukla with the police department over the video.
Authorities Find No Pro-Pak Slogans Were Raised
We also found another video statement by the Assistant Returning Officer of Bithoor- appointed by the State election commission, on the same Facebook page, where the official clarified that they did not find any such slogans having been raised in the rally. The same video was also tweeted by other news publications.
The viral video, showing ‘Pakistan banana hai’ slogans at a door-to-door campaign rally of the SP candidate from Kanpur’s Bithoor is false.
Result : Misleading
Telephone conversation with Muninder Shukla
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