With the conclusion of the second phase of elections on Thursday, a photo of Google CEO Sundar Pichai is doing the rounds on social media. Majority of the users are sharing the image with the narrative that Pichai flew all the way from the USA to cast his vote in the Lok Sabha polls. A verified Facebook page, The Confused Indian with over 22 lakh followers, has also shared the image suggesting the same. An archived version of the post can be accessed here.
Few other individuals on Facebook and Twitter have shared the photograph with an identical narrative. Two more Facebook pages – Poor Guy Sayings and HalloO Dubai Ahh? – have shared the image saying that Pichai was in India to cast his vote.
A tweet posted by a user, Thalapathy Basha OTFC, with the identical claim was one of the earliest that Alt News could find.
The official Twitter handle of Gujarati news channel TV9 Gujarati also went a step further by tagging @sundarpichai in the photo.
— Tv9 Gujarati (@tv9gujarati) April 18, 2019
Old photograph with an incorrect narrative
Upon reverse searching the image on Google, Alt News found that the image dates back to 2017 when Google CEO Sundar Pichai had visited his alma mater IIT Kharagpur, West Bengal. Sundar Pichai tweeted this photo from his Twitter handle on Jan 7, 2017. It may be noted that Pichai holds citizenship of the United States of America. Pichai is an American national and India neither permits dual citizenship nor allows foreign nationals of Indian origin to cast their votes in elections. Thus, it is not possible for Pichai to cast his vote from Tamil Nadu in these general elections.
— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) January 7, 2017
In conclusion, an unrelated photograph was circulated in order to make a false claim that Google CEO Sundar Pichai voted in the ongoing Lok Sabha election.
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