An image of a group of boys allegedly hoisting a BJP flag on an electricity pole is circulating widely on social media. It has been claimed that the visual is from Tamil Nadu.
BJP National General Secretary CT Ravi tweeted the image, writing that the lotus was blooming in Tamil Nadu. (Archive link)
BJP leader Ravinder Gupta made the same claim while amplifying the picture. (Archive link)
BJP Himachal spokesperson Prajwal Busta wrote that Tamil Nadu was heading toward “saffronisation”. (Archive link)
The photo is also widespread on Facebook with the same claim.
A number of social media users replied to viral tweets stating that the image had been edited and the real image actually features the BSP flag. Alt News performed a reverse image search and came across a tweet by BSP leader Shirisha Swaero Akinapally from May 3. It contains a similar picture. However, this one features the BSP flag. “Our brothers and sisters climbed the ladder and hoisted the blue flag in the hearts of the people. Following in the footsteps of Praveen Kumar, millions of such youth are working for the establishment of the Bahujan government in Telangana,” wrote Akinapally. (Archive link)
Quote-tweeting this post, BSP leader Dr RS Praveen Kumar stated that the image shows BSP Telangana at work. This confirms that the viral image featuring the BJP flag has been doctored.
This is @BSP4Telangana at work. No rest till we make poor as rulers✊ https://t.co/b7u0zHUnho
— Dr.RS Praveen Kumar (@RSPraveenSwaero) May 31, 2022
We performed another keyword search on Google and located the flag added to the viral image on a website named ‘StarPNG‘. It was uploaded on May 7, 2019. Comparing it with the viral image demonstrates how the original image had been doctored.
Boomlive found a 2019 Facebook post carrying the same image. One Rohitash Kumar uploaded it.
Kumar told Boomlive that he had clicked this picture in Shahpur, Uttar Pradesh in 2017. He further said that the blue flag seen in the picture is of BSP and it is still present on the electric pole. Kumar sent a video of the location to Boomlive where the blue flag can be seen albeit torn.
To sum it up, an image originally containing the BSP flag was edited with the BJP flag. Several BJP leaders and workers shared the photo as proof of the party’s growing influence in Tamil Nadu. It is worth noting that the DMK government is currently in power in the state.
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