A photo of Sonia Gandhi sitting on a chair with Manmohan Singh and a few other leaders standing around her is circulating widely on social media. Users are posting the image and claiming that then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was made to stand while Gandhi had occupied the only chair in the room. A Facebook user named Mohan Sharma shared it with the same claim.

Twitter user Gulshan Sha had tweeted the photo with the same claim back in 2020. (Archive link)

It is widespread on Facebook and Twitter

We also received a few requests to fact-check the picture on our WhatsApp helpline number (+91 76000 11160).

Misleading claim

After a closer look at the viral image, we noticed chairs behind Dr Manmohan Singh and the others. They have been highlighted below. Apart from this, Sonia Gandhi is seated as if she was just about to stand up or just sat down. It also appears that the rest of the ministers present just stood up.

Alt News performed a reverse image search and found the original picture in a Firstpost article dated July 30, 2013. It states that then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held a meeting in New Delhi on the formation of Telangana. UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Union Ministers P Chidambaram, Sushil Kumar Shinde, Kamal Nath and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi were in attendance.

We also found a One India News report from July 2013 through a keyword search. It contains a few pictures of the meeting held at the Prime Minister’s residence. It is noteworthy that the other dignitaries are seated in one of these photos.

As shown below, there are several similarities between the image in the article and the viral photo. All the leaders are sitting in their respective seats thus, the claim that only Sonia Gandhi was given a place to sit is false.

Photos targeting Sonia Gandhi and portraying a misleading representation of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have been circulated with false claims in the past as well.

About the Author

Kinjal Parmar holds a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology. However, her keen interest in journalism, drove her to pursue journalism from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication. At Alt News since 2019, she focuses on authentication of information which includes visual verification, media misreports, examining mis/disinformation across social media. She is the lead video producer at Alt News and manages social media accounts for the organization.