Yesterday, we were told by multiple media outlets that people waved BJP’s flags in a Rahul Gandhi road show in Haridwar, Uttarakhand. While it is not at all uncommon for one party’s workers to infiltrate another political party’s rallies/meetings and wave their own flags to embarrass the other party, is that what happened? Well, let’s look at the sequence of media reports. The first one was by ANI News at 3:18 p.m. which claimed that people waved BJP flags at Rahul Gandhi’s road show in Haridwar and the tweet had a video attached to it.

If one looks at the sheer number of BJP flags and the audible chanting of “Modi-Modi” towards the end of the video posted by ANI, the news report would seem true. But was it? Zee News also reported it in form of a text report at 5:45 p.m.

However, at 6:28 pm the story started to fall apart. Supriya Bhardwaj from NewsX who was covering Rahul Gandhi’s Uttarakhand visit replied to one Amaresh Ojha when she was questioned as to what were the BJP flags doing in Rahul’s road show. She replied to Mr Ojha stating that it was a rally of BJP MP Hema Malini that Rahul’s cavalcade was crossing.

Supriya Bhardwaj stated that the cavalcade was passing by Hema Malini's rally

And then came across a video of the same event on social media but from a different vantage point which corroborated what Supriya Bhardwaj states in her tweet. In the youtube video below, you can see that the camera starts to swing at about the 15th second and for a brief few seconds, a make-shift gate is seen with Hema Malini’s photo and “Shrimati Hema Malini ji” written in Hindi on the gate along with her pictures on the side. The video and the screenshot can be seen below.

Hema Malini's poster near Rahul Gandhi's road show

So, while the media reports would want you to believe that random people showed up at Rahul Gandhi’s rally and started waving BJP flags at him, the truth is very far from that. Those who were waving the flags were actually the participants of Hema Malini’s rally and could very likely be BJP workers. The important question is how did the ANI journalist while being perched on a vehicle miss this simple fact while having a clear view of Hema Malini’s rally? Why wasn’t this bit of information that the road show was passing by Hema Malini’s rally conveyed to the audience? Innocent mistake? Well, it certainly doesn’t look like it.

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