In the backdrop of widespread protests opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act, BJP National spokesperson Sambit Patra tweeted a video along with a text saying, “Congress leader Naseemuddin Siddiqui is saying we are first Muslims then Indians…We will not accept a constitution that clashes with Islam… we are not loyal to the country…dogs are loyal. Where are the siblings Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi.” (translated). The accompanying video shows a man making these statements. The tweet has been shared close to 10,000 times since then.

The same assertion was also made Pakistani Canadian author Tarek Fatah and army veteran Major Surendra Poonia.

Not a recent video, not a Congress leader

The video posted by Patra dates back to August 2017. It features Samajwadi Party leader Mavia Ali who had kicked up a storm while reacting to Uttar Pradesh government’s controversial circular asking madrasas across the state to celebrate Independence Day and record a video of the event. Mavia’s statement was widely reported in media at that time.

Mavia Ali is a politician associated with the Samajwadi Party. He was an MLA representing Deoband in 2016-17. Naseemuddin Siddiqui, on the other hand, is a Congress leader who was earlier associated with Bahujan Samaj Party.

Viral with false claim

Several Twitter users have also shared Mavia Ali’s statement without the video. Among them was a parody account of journalist Pushpendra Kulshreshtha. “कांग्रेस का आला नेता नस्सिमुद्दीन सिद्दीकी कह रहा है “हम पहले मुसलमान है .. बाद में हिंदुस्तानी.. इस्लाम से टकराने वाले संविधान को भी हम नहीं मानेंगे ..हम इस देश के वफ़ादार नहीं है .. कुत्ते वफ़ादार होते है?” he wrote.

The video is massively viral on Facebook, posted by many pages including I Support Modi Ji and BJP’.

It is not clear why BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra, Tarek Fatah and Major Surendra Poonia dug out an old, widely publicized video of an SP leader Mavia Ali and shared it alleging that it featured a Congress leader Naseemuddin Siddiqui. Siddiqui is a well-known face in Uttar Pradesh politics and the misinformation was immediately countered by several twitter users. None of the misleading tweets are deleted yet. In fact, Fatah tweeted, “I’ve been told the Mullah in this video is one “Muawiya Ali”, not Nasimuddin Siddiqui” but did not take down the video.

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