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Old Video Of Women Queuing Outside UP Bank Falsely Linked To Congress’ Poll Guarantee

Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

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
Muslim women wait in queue to receive the ₹8,500 per month promised under the Congress’ Mahalakshmi scheme.

Fact
Viral video dates back to April 2020, shows women standing in queue to withdraw money after being misled by rumours surrounding Jan Dhan accounts in UP.

Several social media users are circulating a video, mockingly stating that Muslim women are queuing up to receive ₹8,500 per month, promised under Rahul Gandhi’s “khatakhat scheme”.  The archived version of the tweet can be seen here.

What Was The Congress Scheme?

In the lead up to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress launched the ‘Ghar Ghar Guarantee’ programme to reach nearly 80 million households with 25 guarantees, including the Mahalakshmi scheme, which promised ₹8,500 per month directly to the accounts of female heads of Below Poverty Line (BPL) families. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi using the word “khatakhat, khatakhat” to denote how people will receive money in their accounts after INDIA bloc comes to power, which also caught on among other Congress leaders and Opposition leaders like Tejaswi Yadav who made it a part of their campaign speeches.

Fact Check

Newschecker first noticed that the women had masks on, and seemed to be observing social distancing while in queue, indicating that the incident was likely to have been from the pandemic period.

We then ran a reverse image search of keyframes of the video, which led us to this Youtube video, dated April 18, 2020, headlined, “Line of Muslim Women in Front of Bank in Muzaffarnagar, UP,” which shows that the viral video predates the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

A relevant keyword search led us to this News18 India report, dated April 20, 2020, stating that a video of a crowd outside a bank in Muzaffarnagar went viral after a rumour that the ₹500 deposited into their Jan Dhan accounts would be withdrawn.

A further search led us to multiple news reports on the rumour, seen here, here and here, stating that the finance ministry clarified that the money transferred to women Jan Dhan accounts was safe and an account holder can withdraw it any time, while rubbishing rumours that it will be taken back if not withdrawn immediately.

“Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman last month had announced that as many of 20.5 crore women Jan Dhan account holders will get ₹500 per month for next three months to run their households and deal with the hardships caused by the nation-wide lockdown,” read a News18 report, dated April 14, 2020.

“Long queues were witnessed at several branches of banks across the country following cash deposits in the accounts. Amid large numbers of people flocking banks, the finance ministry as well lenders like SBI had asked beneficiaries not to believe in rumours that the money will be taken away by the government if not withdrawn,” read a Business Standard report, dated April 22, 2020.

Clarifying regarding the rumours surrounding the Mahalakshmi scheme, a senior Congress leader had told Money Control that some Muslim women mistakenly believed they would receive the promised money after the election. “We have told them that we can give that money only if we come to power. As we have failed to form the government, the Congress cannot give any monetary support,” he reportedly stated.

Also Read: Old Video Of Women Queuing Outside UP Bank Falsely Linked To Congress’ Poll Guarantee

Conclusion

2020 video from pandemic-enforced lockdown falsely shared as woman waiting in queue to receive ₹8,500 per month as promised by the Congress party.

Result: False

Source
Youtube video, News18 India report, April 20, 2020
Business standard report, April 22, 2020


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Authors

Kushel HM is a mechanical engineer-turned-journalist, who loves all things football, tennis and films. He was with the news desk at the Hindustan Times, Mumbai, before joining Newschecker.

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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