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2024 Lok Sabha Polls: Old Ad Shared As Congress’ Campaign Video On Mahalakshmi Scheme

Authors

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

Claim
Congress’ campaign video on Mahalakshmi scheme. 

Fact
Old Women’s Day campaign video released by Prega News.

A video showing a woman taunting a female sweeper over her “double duty” as a mother and an employee has grabbed social media attention. The footage, stitched with a clip of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi speaking about the party’s ambitious Mahalakshmi Scheme, ends with clips of Sonia and Priyanka Gandhi greeting women, as the party’s jingle “Haath Badlega Halaat ” plays in the background.

Multiple social media users shared the footage stating that the “Congress party has released a brilliant campaign video on Mahalakshmi Scheme.” However, Newschecker found that the video has been clipped from an old Prega News advertisement.

Such posts can be seen here, here and here.

In its 2024 Lok Sabha Manifesto, ‘Nyay Patra’, the Congress party stated that it “ resolves to launch Mahalakshmi scheme provide 1 lakh per year to every poor Indian family as an unconditional cash transfer… The amount will be directly transferred to the bank account of the oldest woman of the household.” 

Screengrab from Congress’ Manifesto

Also Read: Did Sonam Wangchuk Demand A Referendum In Kashmir? Here’s The Truth Behind Viral Video

Fact Check/Verification

A Google lens search on the keyframes of the viral video led us to an article by Youth Ki Awaaz, dated March 9, 2022, titled “Prega News Missed The Mark With Its Latest “Empowering” Ad.” Displaying a screengrab from the alleged election campaign video by the Congress, it stated, “Happy Women’s Day! Well, while this day calls for a celebration of womanhood, Prega News grabbed the opportunity to advertise its pregnancy kit.”

Screengrab from Youth Ki Awaaz website

It also featured a YouTube video by Prega News, dated February 19, 2022, titled ‘Celebrate Women’s Day 2022 With Prega News | #SheCanCarryBoth.’ Around 40 seconds into the YouTube video, we spotted the same sequence that is being shared as the campaign video for Congress’ Mahalakshmi scheme.

Screengrab from YouTube video by Prega News

On analysing the entire commercial, we found that it revolves around the “Career Woman Vs Motherhood” debate and concludes by showcasing that a woman can “carry both” the roles simultaneously.

Also Read: Old Video Of Punjab Ex-Servicemen Protesting Against AAP in Haryana Linked To 2024 Lok Sabha Polls

We also found a Facebook post by SG Dream Media– a Broadcasting & media production company, dated February 19, 2022, featuring the video. The post stated, “Here’s this year’s women’s day campaign for our favourite brand Prega News Featuring the extremely talented Sayantani Ghosh.” It also listed the names of cast and crew members involved in the making of the video advertisement.

Campaign video on Mahalakshmi scheme?
Screengrab from Facebook post by SG Dream Media

We then looked up the keyword “Mahalakshmi” on the official YouTube channel of the Congress, but did not find any such campaign video. The promotional video of the Mahalakshmi scheme as featured in the Congress’ YouTube channel can be seen below

A keyword search for “Mahalakshmi” on the official Facebook page of the Congress did not yield any such video either. We also skimmed through the reels shared on the party’s Instagram handle for the month of May, but did not find this particular video.

Though some Congress members did share the clip recently, it was originally created by  SG Dream Media as an advertisement for Prega News.

Also Read: Pakistan Flag Waved During Shiv Sena (UBT) Rally? No, Viral Claim Is False

Conclusion

We could thus conclude that an old video created for Prega News as a part of its “#SheCanCarryBoth” campaign on Women’s Day 2022 has been misleadingly shared as the Congress’ campaign video of Mahalakshmi Scheme.

Result: False

Sources
Article By Youth Ki Awaaz, Dated March 9, 2022
YouTube Video By Prega News, Dated February 19, 2022
Facebook Post By SG Dream Media, Dated February 19, 2022


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Authors

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

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