“Aloo sona machine”: Previously debunked misinformation revived by ANI

Mathura: BJP MP Hema Malini reacts on Rahul Gandhi’s ‘aaloo ki factory’ reported remark. says, “Hamari sarkar bahut saari jagah mein factory laga chuki hai. Bahut saara aaloo ka ban raha hai, chips wagairah. Everything is being made, also export bhi kitna hota hai.

The above was tweeted by news agency ANI on April 5, along with a sound bite of BJP MP and actor Hema Malini, who is responding to a question posed by a reporter.

The video clip begins with the reporter asking “…Aloo ki factory lagayenge, ek taraf aloo dalenge doosri taraf sona niklega? (Potato factory will be set up, insert potato from one end and gold comes out from the other? – translation). 

To this, Hema Malini responds by saying, “Sabse pehle toh hamari sarkar bahut saari jagah mein factory laga chuki hai. Bahut saara aaloo ka ban raha hai, chips wagairah. Everything is being made, also export bhi kitna hota hai. (Firstly, our govt has set up factories at many places, lot of potato (products) like chips etc. are being made. Everything is being made. A lot is being exported- translation). 

What is to be noted over here is that the video clip is 18 seconds long, and begins abruptly with the reporter’s question already underway. The question is with reference to what Rahul Gandhi had supposedly once said- about setting up a ‘potato factory’, where potato turns into gold when inserted into a machine. Gandhi has been the butt of jokes on social media and beyond over his purported ‘aloo sona’ remark.

Reporter posed question based on misinformation

The version posted by ANI via its tweet is truncated. Like pointed out earlier, the video clip begins abruptly. Another version of the same video, which was posted on Twitter, clearly shows that the reporter asks Hema Malini, “Rahul Gandhi kehte hain na aloo ki factory lagayenge ek taraf aloo dalenge doosri taraf sona niklega?” (Rahul Gandhi says potato factories will be set up, we will put potato from one end and get gold from the other?- translation).

It is the reporter herself who says, “Rahul Gandhi kehte hain (Rahul Gandhi has said)”. She is referring to the Congress president having made this ridiculous statement.

Aloo Ki Factory remark is a myth

The fact of the matter is that Rahul Gandhi had never said that he would set up a ‘potato factory’ where machines would miraculously turn potatoes into gold. The basis for this claim is a curtailed video clip of a rally in which Gandhi had criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Gandhi was actually referring to PM Modi, saying that the latter had told farmers that he would set up a machine to convert potatoes into gold.

ABP News had fact-checked this popular misinformation in January 2018. As can be seen in the video posted below, Rahul Gandhi had said,

“Aloo ke kisano ko kaha, aisi machine lagaunga, iss side se aloo ghusega uss side se sona niklega. iss side se aloo dalo uss side se sona dalo. itna paisa banega apko pata nai hoga kya karna hai paise ka. Mere shabd nahi hai Narendra Modi ji ke shabd hain” (He told potato farmers, i will set up such a machine, that i will insert potato from one end and extract gold from the other. put potato at one end and extract gold from the other. You will make so much money that you will not know what to do with it. These are not my words. These are the words of Modi ji- translation).  

The complete video was uploaded on the Congress president’s YouTube channel. The relevant portion begins at 17:50 minutes. Rahul Gandhi was speaking at Patan, Gujarat at a public rally in November 2017. It may be noted that Rahul Gandhi’s claim amounts to political rhetoric, since there is no record of PM Narendra Modi having ever made any such statement.

The reporter’s query to Hema Malini was based on misinformation which was made popular over time through repetition. It may be reiterated that Rahul Gandhi had never made such a statement, and was in fact accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of having made that pledge to farmers.

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