General Secretary of Uttar Pradesh Congress Rakesh Sachan tweeted a picture of the interior of an extravagant airplane with the caption, “Followers of the owner of this aircraft have an issue with cushions on a tractor. (इस जहाज में बैठने वाले मालिक के भक्तों को ट्रैक्टर में लगे कुशन से दिक्कत थी!)”

His tweet was in reference to Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri’s swipe at Congress MP Rahul Gandhi over images that showed him sitting on what appeared to be cushioned seats on a tractor. This was during a rally in Punjab to protest against the Modi government’s controversial farm laws.

Poet Imran Pratapgrahi also shared the same picture.

On August 1, the official handle of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) tweeted the photograph and wrote, “There was Gandhiji who never fully covered his body because more than half of the population did not have clothes to wear.” The tweet was liked by over 2,300 users and retweeted 364 times. (archived link of the tweet)

[Translated from: “एक गाँधी जी थे जिन्होंने अपना शरीर कभी पूरा नहीं ढका क्योंकि भारत की आधी से अधिक आबादी के तन पर कपड़े नहीं थे”]

On the same day, this picture was also tweeted by Jitu Patwari, who is the in-charge of Gujarat Congress and working president of Madhya Pradesh Congress. He claimed that the plane is PM Modi’s private aircraft. Patwari mockingly remarked that ‘the PM would make India a superpower only when he is given luxuries’. Before his tweet was deleted, it had received more than 1,100 likes and 221 retweets (archived link of the tweet). After Patwari’s tweet, the picture began widely circulating on Twitter and Facebook.

Haryana Congress leader Pankaj Punia also tweeted the picture along with a news report about Boeing 777 aircraft arriving in September 2020 for the Prime Minister’s use.

The picture was posted on the Facebook page of UP East Youth Congress with the same claim that this is the Boeing 777 aircraft.

इस तस्वीर में जो आलीशान सोहफे और विश्वस्तरीय इंटीरियर डिजाइन हैं यह किसी का ड्राइंग रूम नहीं है यह देश के प्रधानमंत्री…

Posted by U.P East Youth Congress on Thursday, 30 July 2020


Upon conducting a reverse image search, it was found that the luxurious airplane is Mexico’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and not PM Modi’s private airplane. The picture was first shared on November 10, 2015, on a website which said that it is a private plane.

A Google search confirms that the picture is indeed of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which is manufactured by American company Boeing Commercial Airplane. This particular airplane is specially made for commercial purposes. Since September 2016, the responsibility of managing Boeing 787 Dreamliner was taken over by China-based Deer Jet. More pictures of Boeing 787 Dreamliner were found on the website of Deer Jet. The website also mentions that the aircraft was made in 2.5 years by a French designer and it can travel non-stop for 17 hours.

On November 17, 2017, Australian-Chinese blogger Sam Chui had uploaded a video on YouTube showing the interiors of Boeing 787 Dreamliner. You can see the same frame as shown in the recent viral picture at 2:09 minutes into the video.

The Indian President, Vice-President and Prime Minister use Boeing 747 for their travel. According to an article published on October 10, 2019, by India Today, two Boeing 777 airplanes will be brought to India for the President, VP and PM’s use by July 2020. As per a new update, the airplanes are expected to arrive by September 2020.

In this manner, a picture of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is being misrepresented and widely shared on social media as PM Modi’s private airplane. Photos of the interiors of Boeing B777 aircraft or Air India One (AI-160) have been published by the media.

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.