A viral video of BSP leader Mayawati asking voters to cast their ballots in favour of the BJP instead of ‘radical Muslims’ is being widely shared on social media, claiming to show BSP support for the BJP in the upcoming polls.
The video was shared by Twitter user Ashish Jaggi, who has around 14,000 followers on the platform. The video has garnered around 20,000 views with around 900 retweets and 2,000 likes. The video is being shared with the caption “Do not vote for radicals, rather transfer your vote to BJP” ~ BSP Supremo Mayawati and #UPElections2022.
In the video Mayawati is seen as saying “The Muslim community prefers radicals. To stop the fundamentalist Muslim’s wife from winning the elections, I asked them to transfer their votes to the BJP. In Meerut, scheduled caste people unlike the Muslims whose votes went to the fundamentalists but upon my insistence, the scheduled caste, the backward caste, and the upper caste voters associated with us, they transferred their votes to the BJP. So that the fundamentalists don’t win the elections.”
Just days to go for the UP Elections, the BSP has fielded 53 candidates for the first phase of the election in the state.
Former UP Chief Minister Mayawati conducted her first rally in Agra a few days ago where she blasted all the opposition parties including Congress, BJP and SP, asking the voters to reject them and help the BSP form a majority government in the state once again. Mayawati also accused the media of being casteist in their election coverage of UP claiming that her presence in the state was not highlighted at all.
To verify the authenticity of the video, Newschecker conducted a reverse image search of the key-frames of the video on Google and found a longer version of her press conference covered by ABP News from 10 November, 2006 on Youtube uploaded by an unknown user.
In the longer version of the video clip, Mayawati can be seen as saying “You know that previously, the mayor of Meerut was from our party. So, why didn’t we win this time? That’s because that seat turned into a Hindu-Muslim tussle. And you know that people of the Muslim community prefer radicals. The candidate of our party was also Muslim. But the one who left our party, the sitting MLA, made his wife contest the elections. You are well aware of his radical statements that led to Muslims joining him. His wife could have won the election. The candidate of our party was not a fundamentalist. To stop the fundamentalist Muslim’s wife from winning the elections, I asked them [voters] to transfer their votes to the BJP.”
Upon performing a keyword search with the words “Mayawati”, “muslim fundamentalists”, “meerut” on Google, Newschecker found several media reports from 2006, when the assembly elections were held in Uttar Pradesh. The press conference in question was held after the municipal elections in 2006. The BSP had stayed away from the civic polls and asked its vote bank to vote for the BJP or Congress instead of the BSP.
Newschecker also found an article from the Times of India from 11 November, 2006 which reported that after the press conference, the muslim community in Uttar Pradesh became enraged by her comments and burnt effigies of her.
Newschecker found another article by Hindustan Times from the same date which mentioned that Mayawati had called another press conference to clarify her position. Mayawati was quoted as saying “Some channels have shown that I have called the Muslims fundamentalists. Such a twist to my statement is wrong.”
She went on to say “Along with Islam, all religions have highlighted the spirit of brotherhood and harmony. No religion permits to sow the seed of discord in the society. Everyone knows that Haji Yaqub Qureshi had always tried to cash in on hate. Even Muslims scholars have opposed the misdemeanor of the Haji. It was to ensure the defeat of the fundamentalist ideology, I got the vote of my party transferred to the party that was in a position to defeat Haji’s wife.” Haji Yaqub Qureshi is the former MLA from Bahujan Samaj Party who had left the party and was fighting independently.
On further research, we found an ABP News report that revealed that a clipped version of the video was viral in 2016 too.
According to the investigation conducted by the Newschecker team, it was found that the viral video of Mayawati asking voters to vote for BJP over ‘fundamentalists’ is an old clipping shared out of context.
Result: Misplaced context
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