Congress MP Rahul Gandhi travelled to Nepal recently. As per a May 2 article by a Nepali news portal, he was attending his friend Sumnima Udas’ wedding. Udas is a former CNN journalist and the daughter of Myanmar’s Ambassador to Nepal.

A video of Gandhi, in the company of a woman, at a nightclub in Nepal was widely shared by several BJP leaders and supporters with the claim that the woman is Hou Yanqi, the Chinese Ambassador to Nepal. It is worth noting that amid escalating border dispute between India and Nepal in 2020, the latter accused Indian media of running false “propaganda” against Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli. Nepal banned private Indian news channels a day after Zee News suggested Oli had close ties with Hou Yanqi.

Kapil Mishra of the BJP shared the video and wrote, “Who is this with Rahul Gandhi? This is not a personal matter. Is he siding with the Chinese agents? Does Rahul Gandhi post tweets against the army due to pressure from China? Questions will be raised. This isn’t just about Rahul Gandhi, but the country at large.” (Archive link)

Sai Prasad, Treasurer of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, also tweeted the video, identifying the woman with Rahul Gandhi as Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi. (Archive link)

Rajya Sabha MP Vijaysai Reddy further amplified the claim. (Archive link)

So did BJP supporter Surendra Poonia. (Archive link)

Right-wing account Hawk Eye, BJP Delhi chief Ajay Sehrawat, BJP supporter and journalist Taruni Gandhi, BJP supporter Rishi Bagree, BJP worker Harish Khurana, Aam Aadmi Party MLA Naresh Balyan, RSS mouthpiece journalist Shivam Dixit, fake news portal Postcard News founder Mahesh Vikram Hegde and V Patel were some others who claimed that Gandhi was spotted at a nightclub in Nepal with Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi.

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After performing a few keyword searches on Facebook, we came across a post by Nepali user Bhupen Kunwar. Dated May 2, Kunwar has shared two videos of Rahul Gandhi and claimed he was at ‘Lord of the Drinks’.

Alt News reached out to the management of the club and was informed that no Chinese diplomat visited their premises. The woman seen with Rahul Gandhi in the video was actually a guest of the bride/groom and she had arrived with them at the nightclub.

We then spoke with Samyak Udas, brother of bride Sumnima Udas. He explained that the woman has been friends with his sister since they were in Hong Kong. Samyak added that although he informed the woman about the viral claim, she does not wish to be identified. Alt News has independently verified the woman’s identity.

Writer and activist Kanak Mani Dixit who was an attendee at the wedding reception on April 5 shared more details about the woman with the help of a source close to the bride’s family. He identified the woman in the video as a former journalist working with CNN in Hong Kong. She currently works as a scriptwriter outside of Hong Kong.

To sum it up, the woman seen in a viral video with Rahul Gandhi inside a nightclub is not Hou Yanqi, the Chinese Ambassador to Nepal. She is a friend of Sumnima Udas, whose wedding Gandhi was attending in Nepal. BJP leaders, supporters, and several others circulated false claims on social media accusing Rahul Gandhi of meeting the Chinese Ambassador to Nepal.

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