A picture of a group of men making dua (invocation) inside a room is being circulated on social media as visuals from the inauguration of a Youth Congress office in Karanataka. The photo also contains portraits of Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi on the wall in the background.
The claim is particularly viral on Twitter.
Karnataka: Congress Youth Wing Opens New Office in Bangalore pic.twitter.com/NXzR5W9zkK
— MeghUpdates🚨™ (@MeghBulletin) January 31, 2022
Karnataka Youth Congress office inauguration. pic.twitter.com/zZ3z9JEpYE
— Suresh 🇮🇳 (@surnell) January 31, 2022
No this is not inauguration of any madrassa. Its inauguration of Youth Congress office in Karnataka. pic.twitter.com/8geCRFHulo
— Pratheesh Viswanath (@pratheesh_Hind) February 2, 2022
Karnataka Youth Congress office inauguration. pic.twitter.com/OvB7BEx5Gg
— Rama Subrahmanyam (@ramug0137) January 31, 2022
On Facebook, the photo was shared with the same claim by a fan page of BJP leader Kapil Mishra.
We performed a keyword search on Google and came across a news report by Deccan Herald. As per the report, on January 31, Mohammed Haris Nalapad took charge as Karnataka Pradesh Youth Congress Committee (KPYCC) president. The report also mentions that Haris inaugurated his office with rituals as per Hindu, Muslim and Christian customs.
Taking this as a clue we checked the Twitter account of Mohammed Haris Nalapad and found photos of the various religious ceremonies uploaded on January 31.
ಕಾಂಗ್ರೆಸ್ ಭವನದಲ್ಲಿನ ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಪ್ರದೇಶ ಯುವ ಕಾಂಗ್ರೆಸ್ನ ಕಚೇರಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಇಂದು ಪೂಜೆ ಹಾಗೂ ಪ್ರಾರ್ಥನೆ ಸಲ್ಲಿಸಲಾಯಿತು. ಈ ವೇಳೆ ಶಾಸಕರಾದ ಶ್ರೀ @mlanaharis ಹಾಗೂ ಹಿರಿಯ ನಾಯಕರಾದ ನನ್ನ ತಾತ ಶ್ರೀ ಎನ್.ಎ. ಮೊಹಮ್ಮದ್ ರವರು ಸೇರಿದಂತೆ ಹಲವು ಕಾಂಗ್ರೆಸ್ ನಾಯಕರು ಉಪಸ್ಥಿತರಿದ್ದರು. pic.twitter.com/5Qkjk38q9Z
— Mohammed Haris Nalapad (@nalapad) January 31, 2022
We further performed a keyword search on Facebook and came across a Facebook live video shared by Nalapad’s father and Shanti Nagar MLA NA Haris where Mohammed can be seen taking part in the Havan ceremony. Other Congress leaders have also posted photos of this event while congratulating Haris.
Attending office charge taking ceremony of Mohammed Haris Nalapad as Karnataka youth congress president
Posted by N.A Haris on Sunday, 30 January 2022
The claim that the picture is from the inauguration of a “new office” is also not true. As per The New Indian Express, Haris is replacing incumbent KPYCC president, Raksha Ramaiah, as Raksha’s term ended on January 31. He took over by performing some rituals at the Congress Bhavan. There is no mention of a new office in any of the news reports. Even the tweet by Haris mentions the location as “Karnataka Region Youth Congress office at the Congress House”.
Hence, an image of Mohammed Haris Nalapad taking charge as the chief of the KPYCC by performing customs of various religions at the Congress Bhawan was shared with a misleading claim that a new Youth Congress Office was inaugurated as per Islamic rituals. Earlier, a viral claim suggested Rahul Gandhi admitted that Congress is a party of Muslims. The claim was refuted by the people who had attended the meeting.
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