A week prior to the counting of votes in the UP assembly elections, an 11-second video clip of CM Yogi Adityanath speaking about phone call etiquette gained over two million views from the Facebook page ‘Sujata Paul – India First’. Paul is a spokesperson of Congress Uttarakhand. The video has been shared on social media with the claim that state government officials have already stopped taking CM Adityanath’s calls, days before the announcement of the assembly election results.

In the video, we can hear the CM say, “This is wrong. Common etiquette is to call back. Either answer the phone or call back in case you are busy.” Many Twitter users have shared it, including @punam_pand and @dinesh_chauhan. Between these two accounts, the clip gained over 35,000 views.

Similarly, several Facebook users also shared this clip

Clipped video from two years ago

We noticed that the viral video carries the logo ‘R9’. Using a keyword search on YouTube, we found the R9 News broadcast from which the viral clip was extracted.

R9 News uploaded this broadcast in September 2020. The viral segment can be heard from the 1:14 mark. However, the CM’s bite begins around the 40-second mark. He says, “You see.. this is a very serious matter that has come [to my notice] from Kanpur and from one or two other places… Phone calls by Honorable MLAs or Honorable MPs aren’t being received by CMO or other officials. Divisional Commissioner Kanpur should take note of this… the concerned CMO should call Honorable Legislative Council member Arun Pathak ji, Honorable MLA Ajit Sanga ji and apologise. Such things will be unforgivable if public representatives call and no one picks up their phones. This is wrong. Common etiquette is to call back. Either answer the phone or call back in case you are busy.”

CM Adityanath took cognisance of officials in the Chief Minister’s Office not taking calls of MP Arun Pathak and MLA Ajit Sanga. The incident doesn’t involve officials ignoring calls by the CM. His statement is being misrepresented against the backdrop of UP polls.

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About the Author

Archit is a senior fact-checking journalist at Alt News. Previously, he has worked as a producer at WION and as a reporter at The Hindu. In addition to work experience in media, he has also worked as a fundraising and communication manager at S3IDF.