A collage featuring two photos of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been circulating on social media. In the first, the CM is sitting in a wheelchair while the other shows her on her feet, meeting her supporters. The images are dated May 1, 2021, and May 2, 2021, respectively to claim that CM Banerjee had faked her injury. The Chief Minister was allegedly injured in March when she had visited Nandigram to file nomination papers. Since the ruling TMC retained power in the assembly elections, the party and CM Banerjee have been targetted with misinformation, especially due to the results sparking post-poll violence.
Twitter user @Sootradhar tweeted the photos and sarcastically wrote, “West Bengal, India has the best public health care system in the world.” It amassed more than 3,000 retweets and 12,500 likes at the time of writing. (archive link)
West Bengal, India has the best public health care system in the world. pic.twitter.com/LekN4Himua
— J (@Sootradhar) May 5, 2021
Alt News found that the image of CM Banerjee greeting the public is old. It has been juxtaposed with an image showing her recent injury to claim that she faked getting hurt.
The picture of Mamata Banerjee in a wheelchair was published in an article in The Week dated March 14, 2021. The Chief Minister was allegedly attacked on March 10 and was discharged from the hospital two days later. On March 14, she led a roadshow marking the occasion of Nandigram Diwas to commemorate the 14 people who were killed during police firings in Nandigram on March 14, 2007. The Week attributed the image to photographer Salil Bera.
Alt News performed a reverse image search which revealed that this image is from 2019. The image was found in a Times Now Hindi article dated November 28, 2019. It is credited to PTI and was taken during by-elections in the state.
Mamata Banerjee was sworn in as the Chief Minister of West Bengal on May 6, 2021. She had recovered by then.
A two-year-old photo was shared with the false claim that Mamata Banerjee was faking her leg injury. A similar claim was circulated in March 2021 with the help of morphed photos.