The country is witnessing frantic political activity and the war-of-words among various parties have escalated ahead of the assembly elections in five states, including Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, in February. Social media has emerged as a new platform for political leaders and their followers to attack the competitors. It is in this backdrop, an old image of Rahul Gandhi wearing a face mask while seated in front of a meal has become a subject of mockery on social media, with many users claiming that the Congress leader ‘eats food while mask on.’
BJP leaders Arun Yadav and Girish Vyas were among several Twitter users who shared an image of Rahul Gandhi and ridiculed him for wearing a mask while eating.
Old Claim That Rahul Gandhi Had Food With Face Mask On Resurfaces
Newschecker had earlier debunked the same claim that Rahul Gandhi had food with face mask on in January 2021. However, it has resurfaced ahead of the elections.
Misinformation targeting political parties and leaders is abundant on social media platforms with users sharing and circulating such claims widely believing them to be true. Ahead of the assembly elections, Newschecker has debunked several misleading and false claims regarding politicians.
You can read our election related fact checks here.
To verify the claim that Rahul Gandhi had food with face mask on, Newschecker conducted a Google reverse image search for the viral image and found it to be from an event that Rahul Gandhi attended in Tamil Nadu in January, 2021.
We researched about it further and came across a video of the event on the official Twitter account of the Congress posted on January 24, 2021 with the caption, “What better way to become one with the Tamil culture than to enjoy a scrumptious Tamil meal among Tamilians!”
In the video Rahul Gandhi can be seen sitting along with the women in the viral picture. While the women are eating, Gandhi, with a mask on his face, can be seen talking to them but not having food.
We also found a similar image of Rahul Gandhi with face mask in the same background that was posted by the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee on its official Twitter account on January 24, 2021 along with two other images which clearly show Gandhi having food without any mask.
On further search, we came across a video uploaded on the official YouTube channel of Puthiyathalaimurai TV. In the video, Gandhi can be seen taking his mask off at 00:20 seconds, before starting to eat.
On comparing the viral image with the original image it is clear that Rahul Gandhi was wearing a face mask while interacting with people, which he took off before he starts his meal.
The viral claim that Rahul Gandhi had food with face mask on is misleading. Gandhi has the mask on while interacting with people, however he removes it before eating.
Result: Misleading Content
Official Twitter Accounts of Congress and Tamil Nadu Congress Committee
Facebook Page of Vasanth TV: https://www.facebook.com/VasanthTV/videos/808448206551528
YouTube Channel of Puthiyathalaimurai TV: https://youtu.be/qFA0RA_FfZ0
(The article was originally published in Newschecker Hindi.)
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