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Did Smriti Irani Ask Not To Designate Delhi Government Schools As Polling Booths Or People Will Vote For Arvind Kejriwal?

Claim

Union Minister Smriti Irani said, “Do not designate Delhi government schools as polling booths or people will vote for Arvind Kejriwal after seeing the govt schools.”

Verification

A screenshot of a tweet is going viral on social media that claims that Union Minister Smriti Irani has stated that govt schools in the national capital should not be used as polling stations as people will vote for Arvind Kejriwal after seeing the development in these schools. The statement itself is too good to be true, however, if you analyze the screenshot which is being shared with the viral claim, you can easily figure out that the said tweet is not made by the news channel AajTak but someone who is impersonating the media house. Many celebrities have fallen prey to the tweets made by parody handles on Twitter.

After the announcement of assembly elections in Delhi, parody handles seem to be highly active in terms of spreading propaganda and fake news. In the past week, we were able to debunk a claim made by a parody handle of media house ABP News. Our fact check on the claim made by ABP News parody can be viewed below.

बीजेपी को सत्ता मिलते ही क्या बंद हो जायेगी दिल्ली वालों को मिल रही पानी की सब्सिडी? जानिये वायरल दावे का पूरा सच

दिल्ली में विधानसभा चुनाव का बिगुल बजने के बाद आम आदमी पार्टी और भारतीय जनता पार्टी के बीच अलग-अलग मुद्दों पर जंग छिड़ रही है। राज्य में 8 फरवरी को वोट डाले जाएंगे और 11 फरवरी को नतीजे आएंगे। दिल्ली के मुख्यमंत्री अरविंद केजरावील ने 8 जवनरी, 2019 को कहा कि बीजेपी नेता मनोज तिवारी ने चुनाव जीतने पर (आप) की सरकार से पांच गुना अधिक सब्सिडी देने का वादा कर जनता का मज़ाक उड़ाया है। – बीजेपी को सत्ता मिलते ही क्या बंद हो जायेगी दिल्ली वालों को मिल रही पानी की सब्सिडी?

This tweet is no longer available on the web since the handle is suspended by Twitter, however, a screenshot of the same can be viewed below.

As we began to fact check the claim made by the Twitter handle in the name of Smriti Irani, we first checked if the same exists on Twitter in order to check whether the screenshot is morphed or the source code has tampered. When we searched the said handle on Twitter, we found that the handle exists on Twitter but it hasn’t mentioned the term ‘Parody’ in its bio. In fact, it is clear from the bio of said Twitter profile that it impersonates AajTak, the bio reads, “AajTak covers breaking news, latest news in politics, sports, business & cinema. Follow us & stay ahead!”

The intensity of this claim on Facebook can be viewed here.

The intensity of this claim on Twitter can be viewed here.

When we searched this claim on Twitter we analyzed that there is a nexus of parody handles of news channels that spread fake news, propaganda, and misinformation through its channels. Similar claims have been shared by many other parody handles. For instance, many parody handles including the ABP News parody handle which we have debunked in the past have also shared this claim. 

Now, as we started our investigation on the aforementioned claim, we found a clarification tweet by Smriti Irani herself. Quoting the suspended parody of AajTak, Irani has requested the Delhi Police to take strict action against the two quoted handles for spreading fake news against her. Irani’s tweet reads, “Kindly check @DCP_CCC_Delhi fake news being propagated as a part of electoral malpractice”

After finding Smriti Irani’s tweet, we further checked media reports if Irani has indeed made any such statement but we didn’t find anything to corroborate.

Therefore, we reached the conclusion that the claim made by parody handles of various news channels and other social media users is ‘False’.

Sources

Google Search

Twitter Advanced Search

Result: Misleading

Saurabh Pandey
Saurabh Pandey
A self-taught social media maverick, Saurabh realised the power of social media early on and began following and analysing false narratives and ‘fake news’ even before he entered the field of fact-checking professionally. He is fascinated with the visual medium, technology and politics, and at Newschecker, where he leads social media strategy, he is a jack of all trades. With a burning desire to uncover the truth behind events that capture people's minds and make sense of the facts in the noisy world of social media, he fact checks misinformation in Hindi and English at Newschecker.
Saurabh Pandey
Saurabh Pandey
A self-taught social media maverick, Saurabh realised the power of social media early on and began following and analysing false narratives and ‘fake news’ even before he entered the field of fact-checking professionally. He is fascinated with the visual medium, technology and politics, and at Newschecker, where he leads social media strategy, he is a jack of all trades. With a burning desire to uncover the truth behind events that capture people's minds and make sense of the facts in the noisy world of social media, he fact checks misinformation in Hindi and English at Newschecker.

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