Joe Biden emerged as the winner and the 46th President of the United States in the recently-concluded US Presidental elections. He is set to take the presidential oath at his inauguration ceremony on January 20, 2021. Meanwhile, social media has been rife with claims that former Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has been invited to Biden’s inauguration. A few photos of the two leaders with former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have also been shared along with this claim. Facebook user Gurcharan Singh Bindra made one such post. (Archive link)

अमेरिका के नए राष्ट्रपति बाईडन के शपथ ग्रहण समारोह के मुख्य अतिथि होंगे भारत के पूर्व प्रधानमंत्री
डॉ.मनमोहनसिंह !!
Congratulations !!

Posted by Gurcharan Singh Bindra on Sunday, November 8, 2020

Twitter user @Shayarcasm, which seems to be a parody account of India Today’s senior journalist Rahul Kanwal, also tweeted this claim. (Archive link)

Several other users made similar statements on Twitter and Facebook. Alt News also received some requests to fact-check the viral message on our official mobile application.

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Fact-check

We did not find any media reports confirming the alleged invitation by Biden to Singh in our keyword search on Google. If an Indian leader were indeed invited to an American president’s inauguration, it would have undoubtedly received widespread media coverage. In fact, a number of media outlets have rubbished the claims of Dr Manmohan Singh being invited for the swearing-in ceremony.

Furthermore, while searching for Joe Biden’s swearing-in ceremony, we found an article in The New York Times from November 9, 2020. It states that only American officials and some well-known public figures will take part in the ceremony.

The event will be organised by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremony (JCCIC). On the JCCIC website, we found a press release dated July 1, 2020, with the latest update. The press release gives details of the preparations for the swearing-in ceremony. It contains no information about the list of attendees or invites. It is worth noting that guests cannot enter without an invitation or ticket. At the time of writing, there was no news of invitations to Biden’s swearing-in ceremony being sent out.

Alt News reached out to Daman Singh, daughter of former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, to uncover the truth behind this claim. She informed us that Dr Singh had no knowledge of the matter.

In 2009, no foreign leaders were invited to former US President Barack Obama’s swearing-in ceremony.

Furthermore, pictures of Dr Singh, Biden, and Clinton accompanying the claim are actually from November 24, 2009, when then-Secretary of State Clinton and then-Vice President Biden organised a lunch program for the former Prime Minister of India, Dr Manmohan Singh. This is when these photos were also taken. This event has also been mentioned in the archive of the Prime Minister’s Office.

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Therefore, the online claim regarding former Prime Minister of India, Dr Manmohan Singh’s invitation to the swearing-in ceremony of American President-elect, Joe Biden, is fabricated. No media reports corroborating these claims were found at the time of writing.

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