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London Deputy Mayor Irked By Chaos At Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Event? Here’s The Truth Behind Viral Video Of ‘Unhappy NRIs’

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.

A video is doing the rounds of social media, where you can see two men raising their voices in a packed auditorium. Some social media users who shared the video claimed that, “NRIs are not happy with ‘Pravasi Bharatiya Sanmilan’. The man in the video is Deputy Mayor of London for Business Rajesh Agrawal”.

The archived versions of the tweets can be seen here and here.

What is the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention?

The 17th edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas (PBD), a day for NRIs, commemorated annually on January 9, was reportedly marked by the Central government with events in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. 

According to the government’s press release,  Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention in Indore on Monday. “The theme of this PBD Convention is ‘Diaspora: Reliable partners for India’s progress in Amrit Kaal’. Over 3,500 diaspora members from nearly 70 different countries have registered for the PBD Convention,” read the release.

Fact check

Newschecker first ran a keyword search for “Pravasi Bharatiya Divas ruckus”, which led us to this Hindi news report from ABP Live, dated January 9, 2023. The report, which has a screenshot of the viral video, stated that NRIs were angry over not getting entry into the venue of the convention, following which there was a fierce commotion.

The man in the viral video, raising his voice against the organisers at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas event, is not London’s Deputy Mayor Rajesh Agrawal.

According to the report, although the hall’s capacity was 2,200, more than 3,000 had reached the venue and 300 were forced to be outside, causing an uproar. The report led us to a tweet by the reporter, Firoz Khan, who had posted a video.

The Times of India also reported on the incident, as seen in this article, dated January 10, 2023. According to the report, chaotic scenes erupted at the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas venue in Indore during PM Narendra Modi’s inaugural event on Monday, when scores of NRIs with valid passes were denied entry to the main hall, citing lack of space.

“The NRI delegates vented their ire before mediapersons. They said they felt “insulted” after being kept out despite having paid for the passes and flown down for the event. They said they were asked to watch it on a screen in another hall. ‘If we had to see Modi ji on screen, we could have done it back home. We have come here to be as close to him as possible, see him in the flesh,’ delegate after delegate said.CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan apologised for the lack of space…,” the report read, confirming that the viral video is from the event.

However, the ABP report did not state that the Deputy Mayor of London for Business, Rajesh Agrawal, was the man in the video or had been hassled.  According to the TOI article, Congress state spokesperson KK Mishra posted a series of tweets, including one showing a man entering one of the sessions in PBD, shouting that his mother was denied entry, and asking others to move out. He alleged that London’s Deputy Mayor Rajesh Agrawal, who was born in Indore, was also denied entry. But Agrawal denied this. “No, nothing of this sort happened. There was no problem. In fact, I feel that I am a host, not a guest,” he told TOI. The archived version of KK Mishra’s tweet can be seen here.

We were then led to Agrawal’s tweet, dated January 9, where he is praising the event.

Agrawal has posted photographs with various dignitaries at the event, where we can clearly distinguish that he is not in the viral video, going by the build of the two men in the clip and their attire.

Conclusion

The man in the viral video, raising his voice against the organisers at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas event, is not London’s Deputy Mayor Rajesh Agrawal.

Result: False

Sources
ABP news report, January 9, 2023
Times of India news report, January 10, 2023


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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.

Kushel HM
Kushel HM
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.

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