On April 5, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s bite to ANI on COVID vaccination led to a Twitter storm after many pointed out that he used abusive language on camera.

The UP CM was criticised by opposition parties and journalists for lashing out at a reporter.

ANI retracts video, propaganda websites come to Adityanath’s rescue

News agency ANI was quick to retract its live broadcast and share another bite where Adityanath cannot be heard blurting out a swear word.

Alt News contacted ANI editor-in-chief Smita Prakash for comment since the agency is yet to issue a statement. “I am not interested in speaking with you,” she said before hanging up. ANI UP bureau chief Kamna Hajela disconnected the call when asked about the video.

UP CMO stated that the last three seconds of the viral clip are edited and a case will be registered against those sharing the viral video to tarnish the chief minister’s image.

Journalist Deepak Chaurasia came to Adityanath’s rescue and propaganda websites OpIndia and Breaking Tube published ‘fact-check’ articles.

The video has not been edited

While ANI retracted the video, it is still available on broadcasts by other channels. Below is an ABP Ganga broadcast where Yogi Adityanath’s retracted bite can be heard six minutes onward.

The redacted clip was also aired by News18 Uttar Pradesh.

Twitter user @PatelSahabGJ pointed that Adityanath can be heard using abusive language at 2:10 minutes in a broadcast by First News Rajasthan as well.

Pro-BJP Twitter handles also came to Adityanath’s rescue including @SocialTamasha and @BefittingFacts. The former shared a comparison video in an attempt to prove that the viral clip has been edited because, apart from the last three seconds, it is the same as the second bite tweeted by ANI. However, there are dissimilarities in both videos (highlighted in bold).

The UP CM can be heard saying in the redacted clip, “I thank the honourable prime minister, central health ministry from my heart for providing COVID vaccine for free. I want to thank the country’s scientists. What are you doing, f******.” The reference to the health ministry was also tweeted by ANI.

In the video reshot by the news agency, the CM does not mention the central health ministry. “I thank the honourable prime minister for providing COVID vaccine for free to the country’s citizens. I thank all the scientists who launched two vaccines on time in India…” he said.

UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath indeed used an abusive word in the presence of ANI crew. The claim that the video is edited is false. ANI, which is at the centre of the controversy, has chosen to not respond.

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About the Author

Pooja Chaudhuri is a senior editor at Alt News.