Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and newly elected Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, on Saturday, held a roadshow at Ahmedabad in Gujarat- where assembly elections are scheduled later this year, where the party hopes to repeat its Punjab win. Soon after, an image, allegedly showing a screenshot from the website of The New York Times, went viral on social media platforms stating “Aam Aadmi Party sets world record of gathering highest number of people in a political rally”. Newschecker found the claim to be untrue.
The image adds, “Nearly 25 crores people attended Arvind Kejriwal’s rally in Gujarat after his Landslide win in Punjab Election.”
The image is being widely shared on Facebook.
Several Twitter users also shared the graphic of news allegedly published by The New York Times, calling out the American news daily for spreading “fake news” regarding “25 crores” attendees in Kejriwal’s road show, stating that the actual population of Gujarat is manifold lesser.
Eyeing the 2022 Gujarat assembly elections, which are due later this year, Arvind Kejriwal and Bhagwant Mann were on a two-day visit to the state, which is a BJP stronghold. On Saturday, the duo led a “Trianga Yatra” in Ahmedabad-a two-kilometre long roadshow that covered Nikol and Bapunagar areas of the city.
“We have ended corruption in Delhi. Bhagwant Mann ended corruption in Punjab in 10 days. If you don’t believe me, ask any of your friends in Punjab,” Kejriwal said during the roadshow. “Delhi and Punjab sorted, now we are preparing for Gujarat,” Mann said during the roadshow.
To verify the authenticity of the alleged screenshot of the New York Times article stating that “Aam Aadmi Party sets world record of gathering highest number of people in a political rally”, we looked up keywords “Arvind Kejriwal” Or “Aam Aadmi Party” on Google and set the time frame on April 2, 2022 – the date line in the viral image shows Saturday, April 2, 2022- using advanced operators. However, we didn’t find any such report published by the NYT on April 2.
Newschecker further conducted keyword searches for “Aam Aadmi Party sets world record of gathering highest number of people in a political rally” and “Aam Aadmi Party” on the official website of the New York Times and set the time range from March 28,2022 to April 4,2022, but didn’t find any report stating that Kejriwal’s party has created world record for highest participation in a political rally, in the website as well.
We spotted ‘LIVE’ written on the viral graphic. On comparing the viral image with a report published in the ‘live’ section of the news daily, we found certain discrepancies. Notably, the font style of the headline in the viral image doesn’t match that of the website. Additionally, the news section seen adjacent to the word ‘LIVE’ and a line after that in the official website of the NYT, is missing in the viral image. In the website, the headline is immediately followed by an image, however in the viral image the headline is followed by a sub-heading and then the image. The first letter of words ‘Landslide’ and ‘Election’ are in uppercase in middle of the sentence, which is inconsistent with the style of other sub-headings in the website.
Continuing the investigation, Newschecker scanned through the comment sections associated with the viral image and found a reply by the official Twitter handle of The NYT communication ‘@NYTimesPR’, clarifying that the New York Times didn’t write or publish this story. “That screenshot is a mocked up image. The New York Times did not write or publish that story,” it tweeted and also shared the link to “fact-based, independent journalism about India.”
Notably, the only article published on April 2, 2022 in the ‘India’ section in the website was a guest essay titled ‘Six Nuns Came to India to Start a Hospital. They Ended Up Changing a Country.’
The New York Times did not publish any report stating that AAP had set a world record for “gathering the highest number of people in a political rally.” The viral claim is fabricated.
Result: Fabricated Content/False
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