The polling for the third phase of Uttar Pradesh assembly elections is underway, with 21.18 percent voter turnout till 11 am. The third phase of polls covers 16 districts and 59 constituencies spread across Awadh, Bundelkhand, and western UP.
Amidst this, a video of Samajwadi Party (SP) President Akhilesh Yadav is going viral on social media in which it is being claimed that Akhilesh Yadav appealed criminals to vote for SP. In the viral video which shows a public rally, Akhilesh Yadav can be heard saying, "Those who want to take law and order in their hands and do not follow the law, they should vote for Samajwadi Party. Those who want to do injustice to the poor, they should vote for Samajwadi Party". The graphic of the viral video reads in Hindi, "वही हवा है - वही सपा है" [English Translation: This is not new, this is same old SP.]
A Twitter user shared the video with a Hindi caption that reads, "दंगाइयों का हाथ, अपराधियों का साथ वही हवा है वही सपा. उत्तर प्रदेश से सपा सफा है."
[English Translation: Rioters are with criminals, this is not new, this is old SP. SP will be defeated in Uttar Pradesh.]
People also widely shared this video on Facebook with a similar caption.
Former UP CM Akhilesh Yadav appealed criminals to vote for SP.
The Logical Indian Fact Check team verified the claim and found it to be false. The viral video is edited.
During our initial investigation, we did a google search and found several reports in which Akhilesh Yadav said that those who take law in their hands should not vote for the SP. According to the report of News18 Hindi dated 16 February 2022, while addressing a public meeting in Auraiya, UP, Akhilesh Yadav said that those people who take law and order in their hands and do not follow the law, they should not vote for Samajwadi Party. Those who want to do injustice to the poor, they should not vote for SP.
He gave the same statement in many other public events as well. According to the report of Dainik Bhaskar, during a press conference held in Bareilly on 12 February 2022, Akhilesh said that BJP has given tickets to more than 100 criminals. He also said that those who take the law in their hands should not vote for the Samajwadi Party.
On searching more, we found the video of the press conference held in Bareilly on the official YouTube channel of the Samajwadi Party. In the video, the viral clip of Akhilesh Yadav's speech can be seen at 23 minutes 52 seconds of timestamp. In the video Akhilesh Yadav can be heard saying, "We are saying, Those who want to take law and order into their own hands, not follow the law, they should not vote for the Samajwadi Party, those who want to do injustice to the poor, don't vote for Samajwadi party." It clearly means that the time where the word 'No' comes, was removed from the clip where Akhilesh asks lawbreakers to not vote for the SP.
It is evident from our investigation that the viral video is edited. In the original video, Akhilesh Yadav had said that criminals and those who do injustice to the poor, should not vote for Samajwadi Party. Hence, the viral claim is false.
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