In a video shot during the Congress’ Bharat Jodo Yatra in Haryana, Rahul Gandhi is seen walking with several Congress leaders when former Union minister Jitendra Singh bends down, seemingly to tie shoelaces. Rahul Gandhi is seen patting Jitendra Singh’s back at the end of the video.

A 20-second clip showing this moment was tweeted by BJP leader and in-charge of the party’s information technology department Amit Malviya wherein he alleged that Jitendra Singh was seen tying Rahul Gandhi’s shoes. He further called Gandhi ‘an arrogant entitled brat’ for not helping Jitendra Singh and ‘patting his back’ instead. (Archive)

National secretary of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga also tweeted the video and said ‘Former union minister Bhanwar Jitendra Singh goes down on his knee to tie Rahul Gandhi’s shoe lace’. (Archive)

The official handle of BJP Rajasthan tweeted a video wherein the viral clip is juxtaposed alongside a compilation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi bowing down and greeting the elderly. The video is an attempt at drawing a comparison between the seemingly contrasting attitudes of Rahul Gandi and Narendra Modi. (Archive)

Rajasthan MLA Gopichand Meena also tweeted the same video and wrote “संस्कार अपने-अपने!”. (Archive)

State president of BJP Chandigarh Arun Sood also tweeted the viral clip and stated that the incident exhibited the ‘mentality of slavery that has ruined the country’. (Archive)

The Free Press Journal published a report titled ‘Rahul Gandhi gets shoe laces tied by ex-Union Minister at Bharat Jodo Yatra, BJP says ‘entitled brat’. Watch video’. The sub-heading of the article reads ‘Rahul Gandhi was walking along with other party members when Bhanwar Jitendra Singh bent down and tied his shoe laces during the Congress’ Bharat Jodo Yatra in Haryana’. (Archive)

Fact Check

Shortly after the clip went viral, Jitendra Singh himself took to Twitter to refute the claim made by Amit Malviya and others. He tweeted an image wherein he can be seen bending down and tying his own shoe laces. The image is a screenshot from a video which captures the viral chain of events from a different angle. Jitendra Singh writes, “Great to see @BJP4India and it’s full machinery keenly observing #BharatJodoYatra and getting panicked by it’s tremendous success ! Resorting to the only thing they know how to do … lie !” (Archive)

The chairperson of social media and digital platforms for the Indian National Congress, Supriya Shrinate, also uploaded the clip of the viral chain of events filmed from another angle. In the clip, Jitendra Singh can be clearly seen bending over and tying his own shoe laces while Rahul Gandhi pauses briefly. (Archive)

Jitendra Singh Alwar quote-tweeted Amit Malviya and said that Malviya’s tweet was ‘a complete lie and defamatory’. According to the former minister’s tweet, Rahul Gandhi paused the march briefly upon his request so that he could tie his own shoelaces. He further demanded that Malviya deletes his tweet and apologizes to Rahul Gandhi or face legal action. (Archive)

The official handle of the Congress party also uploaded a video statement by Jitendra Singh wherein he clarified the chain of events. According to his statement, Jitendra Singh was unaware that his shoelaces had come untied while walking in the march. Rahul Gandhi then advised Jitendra Singh to tie his laces. Consequently, upon Jitendra Singh’s request, he paused for a while and Singh tied his own shoelaces. Jitendra Singh further states that Rahul Gandhi’s shoes do not have laces implying that there’s no possibility of him tying Gandi’s laces (Archive). Supriya Shrinate also tweeted an image of Rahul Gandhi’s shoes confirming this.(Archive).

While Aaj Tak did not make a direct claim vis-à-vis the viral clip, they chose to use a clickbait caption. In their tweet, Aaj Tak wrote, ‘Rahul Gandhi left for Bharat Jodo Yatra in Haryana on Wednesday. During this time, a video went viral wherein Congress leader Jitendra Singh appears to be tying Rahul Gandhi’s shoelaces’. As the reader might notice, the information provided in the tweet lacks clarity and can mislead readers who don’t read the article and go only by the caption.

Hence, it is clear that a video of Jitendra Singh tying his shoelaces is being falsely circulated as Jitendra Singh tying Rahul Gandhi’s shoelaces. With reference to this fabricated claim, Gandhi has been called ‘an arrogant entitled brat’ by BJP leader Amit Malviya.

In the recent past, many cases of misinformation targeting Congress’s Bharat Jodo Yatra have been put out by members of the BJP. For instance, a video of Rahul Gandhi and some other Congress leaders coming out of a restaurant was circulated on social media with the claim that the politicians were inebriated during the Bharat Jodo Yatra. An Alt News fact-check found the claim to be categorically false. In another similar case of misinformation, an image of Rahul Gandhi with a girl was viral on social media with the claim that the girl seen with Rahul Gandhi is Amulya Leona, who was known to have raised ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogans during the anti-CAA protest in Bangalore in 2020. An Alt News fact-check found the claims to be false.

Over the years Alt News has also documented how BJP information and technology chief Amit Malviya has consistently put out misinformation. Readers can find related reports here.

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About the Author

Student of Economics at Presidency University. Interested in misinformation.