A graphic from news channel Aaj Tak’s show ‘Desh Ka Mijaz’ is viral on social media, in which the figure ‘52%’ is shown along with Rahul Gandhi’s name and ‘34%’ with that of Narendra Modi. It is being claimed that the figures prove Rahul Gandhi’s popularity has surpassed that of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Sharing this graphic, the Twitter handle of the Delhi Congress wrote, “The mood of the country is changing. Now the public has made up its mind to teach a lesson to the autocrats.” (Archived link)

The graphic was also promoted by the Twitter handle of the Tripura Pradesh Youth Congress. The accompanying caption read, “The Bharat Jodo Yatra will gradually wipe the BJP out of this country.” (Archived link)

Pankaj Prahlad Singh of Congress Delhi also amplified the graphic.

Fact-check

Taking a closer look at the viral screengrab, Alt News noticed that below Rahul Gandhi’s statement is a ticker that reads, “Odisha’s remote control is with the corrupt chowkidar“.

We performed a keyword search using this statement of Gandhi’s. This led us to a report by Aaj Tak dated January 25, 2019. Rahul Gandhi made the remarks while addressing a rally in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. This confirms that this broadcast from Aaj Tak was aired sometime around January 25, 2019.

Next, we performed a keyword search on Twitter using a date filter and came across a video of this programme which was tweeted on January 25, 2019 by the official handle of Aaj Tak.

The programme claimed on the basis of a survey that the popularity of Narendra Modi for the post of prime minister was 46 percent, while that of Rahul Gandhi was 34 percent. We noticed that the viral graphic used the original frame in context of the figures for Narendra Modi, which also matches the time stamp (17:59). However, the frame mentioning Rahul Gandhi (34%) is not the one used in the viral graphic.

Further in the show, it is revealed that among the Opposition leaders, Rahul Gandhi was the most popular alternative for Narendra Modi. Here, his popularity figure stood at 52 percent, the highest among the Opposition. In this context, the visual referring to Rahul Gandhi can be seen on screen. The time stamp (18:01) also lines up with the viral graphic.

Aaj Tak issued a tweet clarifying that the viral graphic was doctored. Following this, Congress’s social media and digital platform chairperson Supriya Shrinate took cognizance of the viral graphic and the tweet was taken down from the official handle of Delhi Congress. (Archived link)

To sum it up, Congress members falsely circulated an edited graphic from a 2019 Aaj Tak broadcast comparing figures from two different parameters to suggest that Rahul Gandhi’s popularity had surpassed that of Narendra Modi’s.

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About the Author

Abhishek is a journalist at Alt News.