Rajasthan votes on December 7, and social media is expectedly abuzz with political propaganda. Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, in a programme on the Hindi news channel Aaj Tak, claimed that Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje has urged BJP workers to divert the attention of the people so that they do not ask about issues like roads, water and electricity.

In the above video clip which has been posted by Surjewala himself on Twitter, he lashes out at Vasundhara Raje, saying, “When Vasundhara ji was addressing an indoor meeting of party workers, a (video) clip has been released, you will receive it too, in which she is saying that distract the people so that they do not ask why roads have not been built, why there is no water, no jobs, why are people being beaten up, why are farmers in distress; distract them so much that we eventually deceive them- translated”.

Surjewala was ostensibly referring to a 12-second video clip which has been circulated on social media, in which Raje can be heard saying, “…people will not get the time to ask why there are no jobs, why water is not available, why roads have not been built, because they will be so mired in their own despair” (translated).

The above tweet is by Sanjeev Dhamtan, whose description on the profile says ‘Team Surjewala (Youth Congress). His profile picture shows him with Surjewala.

Clipped video, speech taken out of context

The video referred to by Surjewala, according to which the Rajasthan CM is ostensibly exhorting her workers to distract the electorate, is a truncated version of a larger video. Vasundhara Raje has indeed said these words but with reference to the Congress party. Raje had alleged that the Congress party has always sought to hoodwink the people by raking up non-issues. Social media users pointed out that Raje has been targeted unfairly on the basis of an edited video clip. Meanwhile, the BJP hit out at Congress for manipulating Raje’s words.

झूठी है कांग्रेस…

अभी तक तो कांग्रेस कार्यकर्ता ही झूठ बोल रहे थे। अब कांग्रेस के नेता सुरजेवाला भी झूठ बोल रहे हैं। कांग्रेस द्वारा फैलाया गया झूठ बेनकाब हो गया है। कमल पर बटन दबाकर जनता इस झूठ का मुंहतोड़ जवाब देगी।

Posted by BJP Rajasthan on Thursday, November 29, 2018

The longer version of the video can be seen in the above tweet, which makes it clear that Raje was indeed criticizing the Congress party. Instead, her words were selectively chopped from the speech in order to make it seem as if the Rajasthan CM is blatantly exhorting her party workers to divert the attention of the people ahead of voting.

Only a day before, BJP IT cell head Amit Malviya had resorted to the same strategy, sharing a clipped video of former PM Dr. Manmohan Singh, representing it in a manner so as to make it seem as if he is lavishing praise on the BJP-ruled governments of MP and Chhattisgarh.

About the Author

Arjun Sidharth is a writer with Alt News. He has previously worked in the television news industry, where he managed news bulletins and breaking news scenarios, apart from scripting numerous prime time television stories. He has also been actively involved with various freelance projects. Sidharth has studied economics, political science, international relations and journalism. He has a keen interest in books, movies, music, sports, politics, foreign policy, history and economics. His hobbies include reading, watching movies and indoor gaming.