A photograph of Sonia Gandhi in the company of a man has been shared with a claim alluding that he is “Ottavio Quattrocchi”, Rahul Gandhi’s father. The claim also mischievously refers to the Congress leader as “Rahul Khan”.

Adding to sexist overtones are messages referring to Sonia Gandhi as a “cabaret dancer” who met Quattrocchi 57 times after her husband Rajiv Gandhi’s death.

The claim is not just viral on Twitter but also on Facebook.

सोनिया व उनके करीबी दोस्त ओत्तावियो क्वात्रोची.
मतलब #मामा पर गए है राहुल बाबा..🤣

Posted by Mayank Tyaji Ji on Friday, 4 June 2021

Alt News has received several requests on its WhatsApp helpline number (+91 76000 11160) to fact-check the claim.

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Sonia Gandhi’s photo with Rahul Gandhi

A simple Google reverse image search led us to articles by Latestly and The New Indian Express where the image has been credited to PTI. “Sonia Gandhi, Congress President and her son Rahul at the raising day function of the Special Protection group,” reads the caption. The photograph was shot on April 8, 1996.

According to PTI, Ottavio Quattrocchi was an Italian businessman and a key figure in the Bofors scandal. Quattrocchi was a close associate of the Gandhi family and was named in the Bofors charge-sheet filed in 1999 by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). “On 4 March 2011, a Delhi court discharged Quattrocchi from the payoffs case after allowing the CBI to withdraw prosecution against him, bringing to an end a major chapter in the 25-year-old Bofors saga.” The scandal is regarded to have cost the Congress party the 1989 elections.

Hence, an old image of Sonia Gandhi attending a function with her son Rahul Gandhi has been shared with the false claim that she was with Ottavio Quattrocchi. This is not the first time Gandhi has been targetted with sexist misinformation.

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About the Author

Kalim is a journalist with a keen interest in tech and in misino/disinfo beat