A video showing West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee attempting to ride a scooter escorted by a group of people, is going viral on social media platforms. Users sharing the video claim that the roads were closed for Mamata Banerjee to “learn driving a scooter,” resulting in a hassle for the general public. Newschecker found the claim to be untrue.
Several social media users shared the viral video claiming to show the situation in “Kolkata where Ordinary Citizens have to suffer because CM is learning to drive Scooter.”
Links to such posts can be found here, here, here and here.
TMC chief and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee is known to be a staunch critic of the Modi-led BJP government in the centre and its policies. Recently, she lashed out at the centre over the arrest of Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair and social activist Teesta Setalvad over their arrests for “trying to expose the truth” and wondered how those who spread hatred among communities are roaming free.
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Newschecker conducted a Google reverse image search on the keyframes of the viral video along with the keywords “Mamata Banerjee Scooter” which led us to a YouTube video by Hindustan Times, dated February 25, 2021, with the title ‘Watch: Mamata Banerjee rides e-scooter in protest against fuel price hike. ‘
13 seconds into the video, we spotted the same visuals of Banerjee riding a scooter. On analysing the video and comparing with the viral clip, we could conclude that both visuals belong to the same event.
The description of the video read, “West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee protested against the fuel price hike in a unique style. On Thursday, Banerjee commuted to and from state secretariat Nabanna on an electric scooter. On the way to Nabanna in the morning, the CM was seen riding pillion on a battery-powered e-scooter. While in the afternoon, Banerjee took the driver’s seat on the way to her residence in Kalighat. While Banerjee rode the scooter at a slow speed, some security personnel followed her on foot. …..”
A keyword search for “Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee electric scooter” on Google yielded reports by multiple news outlets from February 2021, elaborating on the incident.As per one one such report by news agency ANI, Mamata Banerjee rode pillion on an electric scooter to reach state secretariat Nabanna in Howrah from her residence in Kalighat to mark the protest against fuel price hike. Banerjee sat behind a Trinamool Congress leader who rode the battery-powered electric scooter.
While returning to her home in Kalighat, Banerjee rode the e-scooter herself. During the course of her ride, she nearly fell but quickly regained her balance with the support of the security personnel and continued the ride.
You can read other news reports on Banerjee’s 2021 protest against fuel price hike here, here and here.
The official Facebook page of Mamata Banerjee had live streamed her ride.
Several images from the protest were also posted on her Facebook page with the caption which roughly translates to, “Uninterrupted price hike of petrol, diesel and LPG by central government has put common citizens into a terrible crisis. This skyrocketing price of petrol has caused common people to suffer in daily transportation. Strongly condemn the anti-people policy of the central government one after another. The Trinamool Congress movement will be stronger in the coming days in protest against the increase in prices of petrol products. Today, as a protest, I rode the battery-operated e-scooter from home to Nabanna, will follow the same route while returning. In protest against this unprecedented price increase, I appeal everyone to come to the path irrespective of the party.”
Notably, the same video went viral in 2021 as well.
Viral video claiming that roads in Kolkata were shut so that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee could “learn to drive a scooter”, is false.
YouTube Video By Hindustan Times, Dated February 25, 2021
Article By ANI, Dated February 25, 2021
Facebook Post By @MamataBanerjeeOfficial, Dated February 25, 2021
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