The official Twitter handle of BJP’s Bengal unit had posted an edited video on April 23. In the video, which now has over 4000 likes, shows West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee asking people to vote for the BJP, while the crowd responds by chanting PM Modi’s name. Moreover, Banerjee can be heard saying, “in this democracy, vote for BJP government and vote for BJP government and vote for BJP government and…”
After this, the video pans to the crowd who look like they are clad in BJP colours and chanting BJP supremo Modi’s name.
— BJP Bengal (@BJP4Bengal) April 23, 2019
What is the reality?
Fact-checking website, BoomLive, while researching on the authenticity of the video, found that the same video with the same caption has been shared by Facebook users as well.
The impact of MODI TSUNAMI – @mamataofficial appeals everyone to vote for BJP! The first time she's made any sense during this election campaign! Thanks a ton DIDI !!
The caption reads, “The impact of MODI TSUNAMI – @mamataofficial appeals everyone to vote for BJP! The first time she’s made any sense during this election campaign! Thanks a ton, DIDI !!”
Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress’s official Twitter handle, responding to the video said that Banerjee in the original video had said, “On May 6, in this democracy, Vote and put the BJP government in the grave.” It claimed that a part of the video has been edited and displayed out of context. It also posted the unedited version of the video for reference.
#BREAKING Cheats exposed. Desperate @BJP4Bengal tweets doctored @mamataofficial video. Why did you edit out next 2 words? She says "৬ই মে আসছে দিন, ভালো করে গণতন্ত্রে বিজেপি সরকারকে ভোট দিয়ে কবর দিন।"
— All India Trinamool Congress (@AITCofficial) April 23, 2019
After conducting a factcheck, BoomLive found TMC’s claims to be true and observed that there are clear signs of the BJP video being doctored. After the 4th second Banerjee can be heard saying “Vote for BJP sarkar and..”, a phrase which gets cut abruptly and put on loop. The part of the speech which has been used in the doctored video can be found at the 35:50 mark on the original one. She can be heard saying, “Vote and put the BJP government in the grave.”
BoomLive deduced that the footage of the crowd, which looks like they were wearing saffron colours, has been taken from a video of any BJP rally. After going through all videos of BJP rallies in Bengal, BoomLive found the original source of the video.
Dilip Ghosh, president of BJP’s Bengal unit admitted to BoomLive that the video has been doctored. He said, “Netizens must have edited it with an aim to poke fun at Mamata Banerjee. As it’s clearly understood that the video is edited. Like the way Rahul Gandhi ‘s videos are often edited and posted online. So I don’t know what’s the hue and cry about.”
While Ghosh admitted to the doctoring of the video, it should be remembered that a verified party account has shared the video in question.
Creating or sharing fake news is never justified. We have a responsibility to verify everything that we post on the internet. To ensure that our national debate is healthy and well-informed, each and every one of us has a responsibility of treating what we read with a pinch of salt, a spoonful of doubt, and a flood of research.