An image of a bill from a petrol pump has been gathering quite a lot of traction on social media. Printed on the bottom of a bill is a message that reads, “If you want to reduce petrol price don’t vote Modi again. Thank you visit again!” The name of the pump printed on the alleged bill is ‘Sai Balaji Petroleum HPL Dealer Vikhroli (West) Mumbai’. Users have been sharing the image while targeting the Maharashtra government. Twitter user Archana Shah tweeted the image and wrote, “Look at this. What an amazing statement. Shame on you, Maharashtra government.” (Archive link)

The image is widespread on Facebook.

The photo is also being shared on WhatsApp with the accompanying claim. Alt News received a few requests to verify it on its mobile app.

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In fact, it has actually been doing the rounds online since 2018.

Posted by Save The Constitution on Thursday, October 11, 2018

Fake bill

There is no pump in Mumbai named ‘Sai Balaji Petroleum HPL Dealer Vikhroli (West) Mumbai’. There is also no oil company or a fuel retailer called ‘HPL’. There is however Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited but its short form is HPCL.

A closer look at the bill reveals a discrepancy in the font sizes of the words and numbers. These errors have been underlined in the image below.

The date printed on the bill is October 4, 2018, when the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance was in power in Maharashtra and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis was the chief minister.

Several other fact-checking outlets including Boomlive, The Logical Indian, and SM Hoax Slayer have debunked the fake bill in the past.

These reports carried a sample bill from a petrol pump similar to the viral bill. The URL linked to the sample bill is currently unavailable. But the similarities between both – the name of the pump, its address, the car’s license plate number, and the name of the customer – have been highlighted below.

To sum it up, an image of an old sample petrol pump bill was edited and circulated on social media. The accompanying false claim said that the Maharashtra government is appealing to people to not vote for PM Modi in the next elections.

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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.