On January 29, social activist Anna Hazare announced that he would go on a hunger strike in support of protesting farmers starting January 30. Following a discussion with former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union Minister of State for Agriculture Kailash Chaudhary, he decided against the fast.
A picture of the activist with BJP President JP Nadda is now circulating on social media. The image shows Hazare purportedly wearing a BJP scarf. Several people have claimed that he joined the BJP in the presence of Nadda.
A user with the handle @iAnnaHaare tweeted the picture and wrote, “In the presence of Honorable Shri JP Nadda, I joined the Bharatiya Janata Party today!!” The tweet racked up over 1,500 retweets and 7,700 likes at the time of writing. (Archive link)
माननीय श्री जेपी नड्डा की मौजूदगी में आज भारतीय जनता पार्टी की सदस्यता ग्रहण की!! pic.twitter.com/R5ctt0dOaR
— Anna Hazare (@iAnnaHaare) January 29, 2021
A Facebook page named ‘Mein Congress Hun’ also shared the photo and accompanying claim.
A closer look at the image reveals that it has been morphed. There is a clear distinction between Hazare’s face and neck. His face has been edited onto the body of the person who was in the original picture.
Alt News performed a reverse image search and found this picture in a Navbharat Times story dated June 25, 2020, that shows Jyotiraditya Scindia.
Watch | “This is a very democratic party where every individual gets a say… #JyotiradityaMScindia will get the opportunity too”: BJP’s JP Nadda welcomes him to the party#jyotiradityamscindia#MadhyaPradeshCrisis#MPPoliticalCrisispic.twitter.com/q3Cp5GQa4z
— NDTV (@ndtv) March 11, 2020
Photo of Anna Hazare
After performing a reverse image search using Yandex, we found a number of links from 2011, with the earliest version of Anna Hazare’s picture dating back to April 2011. This photo continues to be used as a file photo by media organisations.
Who was the first user to tweet the morphed photo?
Alt News performed an advanced search on Twitter using epoch time. We were able to find that the picture was first tweeted by @iAnnaHaare on January 29, 2021, at 10:38 PM. @iAnnaHaare is a parody account that changes its username from time to time. Earlier, this account was named @AnnaHaare and prior to this, it was called @TikaitNaresh before it was changed to @AnnaHaare.
Therefore, a picture of Jyotiraditya Scindia joining the BJP was morphed with Anna Hazare’s face to show that the activist has joined the BJP. No such development has been reported as of this writing.