(This article was originally done in Hindi by Shubham Singh)
Amid the controversy surrounding senior Congress leader and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi’s trip to Nepal, an image showing both Gandhi and civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia along with few others is being shared widely by social media users.
In the photograph, Scindia can be seen standing on a side while two women click photographs of Gandhi as he smiles for pictures. The people in the photograph seem to be dressed in traditional clothes indicating festivities or a special occasion.
Those sharing the photograph claim that Jyotiraditya Scindia too was present at the same wedding in Nepal that Rahul Gandhi reportedly attended recently and allege that the photograph is proof that the minister was “sidelined”. Newschecker found the image to be old and unrelated to the wedding in Nepal.
Twitter user @hmjyothish14 shared this photo claiming “The wedding in which Rahul Gandhi has gone to Nepal, Central Minister Scindia has also gone to the same wedding. Then why is BJP looking like crazy in stranger marriage?”
Newschecker found similar claims on Twitter and Facebook with different captions. Some referred to Scindia as an “ignored invitee”, while others commented the viral photograph being proof of the differing levels of confidence in both leaders.
Controversy erupted after a video of Rahul Gandhi standing next to a woman at a pre-wedding bash at a nightclub in Nepal surfaced on May 3, 2022. Several BJP leaders took to social media, alleging that Gandhi was “partying” at a nightclub despite communal clashes in Rajasthan leaving the Congress party in disarray. Some even alleged that the woman seen in the video was a Chinese diplomat, and accused Gandhi of colluding with Chinese authorities. Social media has been abuzz with misinformation and unsubstantiated claims since and this viral photograph is one such instance.
Fact Check/ Verification
We started by conducting a reverse image search on Google and found that the same image was published as part of a news report by Hindustan Times titled Royal guests at royal wedding uploaded on October 15, 2011 indicating that the photograph was in Bhutan with members of the royal family. The caption of the photograph has been produced below.
Further, the HT report carried a total of 8 photographs from the same visit and on scanning them, one can see three more images showing Jyotiraditya Scindia which are reproduced below.
As indicated by the captions of the photographs, the people photographed with the two leaders are Former Bhutan King Jigme Sinagye Wangchuk and his queens in Thimpu at a royal wedding reception of King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk and Queen Jetsun Pema at the Chang Lime Thang Stadium.
Further, a similar image, featuring the same people, taken at the same spot was also found on stock shot website Alamy uploaded on 15th October, 2011. The details mentioned below indicate that the photograph was clicked by Reuters photographer Adrees Latif in 2011 and has been described as historical or reportage. Interestingly, this photograph also shows Scindia’s wife Priyadarshini Scindia in attendance at the royal wedding in Bhutan.
Scindia was in Canada on May 3
In addition, on examining the social media profile of Jyotiraditya Scindia who is currently Union Civil Aviation minister, we found that on the same date, May 3, the minister arrived in Montreal for a three-day official visit to meet his Canadian counterpart to discuss the expansion of the bilateral air service agreement among other things.
In the light of the recent controversy around Congress leader Rahul Gandhi attending a wedding in Nepal, an old image from Bhutan is being shared in false context.
The setting of the original photograph was the royal wedding of Bhutan’s King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk and Queen Jetsun Pema which was attended by Gandhi and then Minister of State Jyotiraditya Scindia along with his wife Priyadarshini. It is not from Nepal as claimed by social media users.
Result: False Context/False
HT Report Scindia meets Canadian counterpart, discusses open skies policy (May 4, 2022)
Tweet by Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia ( May 3, 2022)
Alamy website Photo added by Reuters photographer, Adrees Latif ( October 15, 2011)
HT Report Royal guests at royal wedding ( October 15, 2011)
Profile of Reuters Journalist, Adrees Latif
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