With the much anticipated assembly elections underway in Uttar Pradesh, social media has become a hotbed for political misinformation. One such viral video of BSP leader Mayawati asking their voter base to cast their ballots against Samajwadi Party even if it means voting in favour of the BJP is being widely shared on social media, claiming to show BSP support for the BJP in the upcoming polls.
This video has been shared on Facebook by a page called ‘I Support Modi ji and BJP’ which has 800,000 followers. The video has garnered around 4,000 views and 272 likes with the caption ‘Mayawati ji’s open message to her voters. SP has to be defeated, even if one has to vote for BJP.’
Newschecker found similar claims on Twitter with different captions.
In the video Mayawati is seen as saying “BSP will use it’s full force to defeat the SP candidate nominated by them even if it means that BSP candidates have to sacrifice their votes for any party opposing the SP including the BJP.”
The 2022 Uttar Pradesh election for 403 assembly seats is being held in seven phases. The Former UP chief minister, Mayawati made a statement on Wednesday, February 9, in the media claiming that the people of UP will teach the BJP a lesson.
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 BBC News Hindi from 29 October, 2020 on Youtube uploaded by their Youtube channel.
In the video Mayawati is seen saying “We have decided that to defeat SP candidate in future MLC elections in UP, we will put all our force and even if we have to give our vote to BJP candidate or any party candidate, will do it. Any party candidate, who will be dominant over SP’s 2nd candidate, will get all BSP MLAs’ vote for sure.”
Upon performing a keyword search, Newschecker found several media reports from 2020 when the Legislative Council Elections were held in Uttar Pradesh. One of the media reports was an article published by Business Standard on 29 October, 2020. According to the article, BSP chief stated that “When BSP saw the Samajwadi Party’s behaviour towards them after the Lok Sabha election results in 2017, BSP realised that they have committed a big mistake in aligning with them.”
Newschecker also found another article by The Hindu from 2 November, 2020 where Mayawati is seen doing a U-turn regarding her statement in favour of the BJP. According to the, article Mayawati issued a clarification statement saying that “I will take sanyas from politics but I cannot contest elections with the BJP”. She also added that this was conspiracy to wean Muslim voters away from the BSP.
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 SP is an old clipping shared out of context.
Result: Misleading/Partly False
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