On September 10, the BJP organized a Jana Spandana program in Doddaballapur, Bengaluru to celebrate the third anniversary of the party’s coming to power in Karnataka. BJP MP and Union Minister Smriti Irani attended the event. Addressing the gathering from the stage, Irani said that Congress leader and MP Rahul Gandhi kicked off his ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra‘ (Connect India Rally) from Kanyakumari without paying his respects to Swami Vivekananda at the Vivekananda Memorial located there because Swami Vivekananda was not a member of the Gandhi family.

It is worth noting under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi, the Congress party is conducting the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ from Kanyakumari. The five-month padyatra will witness the leaders passing through 12 Indian states, culminating in Kashmir.

In this video of Smriti Irani’s speech on YOYO TV Kannada’s YouTube channel, she remarks at the 46:45 mark, “Today I want to ask the Congress party something. You claim you are traveling to bring India together. If you commenced your journey from Kanyakumari, you should have had the decency to pay respects to Swami Vivekananda. But Rahul Gandhi couldn’t do that either because Swami Vivekananda is a national saint, not a member of the Gandhi family.

Fact-check

Alt News noticed that Congress party’s official media platform INC TV and several Congress leaders had shared a video of Rahul Gandhi, and called Smriti Irani’s statement false. In the clip, he is seen paying his respects to Swami Vivekananda and bowing to his statue. Along with the video, Congress leaders also shared a tweet by news agency ANI covering Gandhi’s visit to the Vivekananda Memorial. Congress leader Srinivas BV shared the video calling Smriti Irani a liar.

Other Congress leaders also mentioned the tweet by ANI along with the clip. It details Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Vivekananda Memorial in Kanyakumari on September 7, i.e. ahead of the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’.

The same video was also uploaded to the Congress party’s YouTube channel on September 7. Here, Rahul Gandhi is seen circumambulating the statue of Swami Vivekananda at the memorial.

To sum it up, BJP leader Smriti Irani in her speech falsely claimed that Rahul Gandhi did not pay his respects to Swami Vivekananda before commencing the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ from Kanyakumari.

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About the Author

Abhishek is a journalist at Alt News.