Am image showing Nitish Kumar's picture on a hoarding with the words 'Nitish belongs to everyone' has been widely circulated by Indian media outlets. The image is going viral in light of the ongoing political crisis in Bihar.
On 9 August 2022, Nitish Kumar resigned as the coalition Chief Minister and ended his alliance with the BJP. Just a day later, he sworn to the post of CM as the leader of the Janata Dal alliance along with Tejasvi Yadav as his deputy.
The image shows a picture of Nitish Kumar on a white hoarding with the text in Hindi, 'Nitish belongs to everyone.'
In a news segment, ABP News shared the image with the anchor stating that the chief minister's "new" posters were installed in Bihar by the JDU.í mi
ABP News also shared the same news segment on Twitter.
On Twitter, NDTV shared the image with the claim that the poster was put up at the JD(U) headquarters in Patna as Nitish Kumar allied with RJD after leaving NDA. NDTV later deleted the tweet.
The news agency ANI also tweeted the image with a similar claim. ANI later deleted the tweet, as well.
Republic Bharat also shared the image through a news segment, claiming that the poster was put up during the Bihar Political Crisis.
Meanwhile, news outlets such as the Times of India and News24 tweeted the image but didn't share it with any particular claim.
India Today shared the image of the poster in an article with the same claim.
News outlets ETV Bharat and ABP Live showed the image in their articles.
The Logical Indian fact-check team verified the claim and found it to be misleading. The viral homage is from 2020.
We conducted a reverse image search on the poster. On Facebook, we came across the following post by a user, Rakesh Yadav, posted on October 10, 2020.
The caption of the viral post reads, "Nitish belongs to everyone, belonged to RJD, also belonged to LJP, may also belong to Congress in future...and he belongs to BJP. Where will you find such a friendly leader???"
We then understood that the poster dates back at least two years. We took this as a cue and conducted a keyword search with Hindi's terms 'Nitish belongs to everyone.' with the date range set to 2020. We found this article by TV9 Hindi published on October 7, 2020. The article contained the same poster as shared in the viral reports. The TV9 Hindi article mentioned that the poster was installed in the run-up to the Bihar Legislative Assembly elections.
In the Bihar Assembly Elections held in 2020, the BJP and JDU formed a coalition government. The article states that the poster was hung up by Janata Dal (United). We also came across a report by Live Hindustan published on October 2, 2020.
As per these reports, Janata Dal United's message behind the poster is that no matter what religion or caste, Nitish Kumar belongs to everyone. This hoarding was put up in the vicinity of the JDU headquarters in Patna alongwith other hoardings proclaiming, 'Progress is visible.'
In our Fact Check, we also came across a report by BBC Marathi published on 10 November 2020, which also contained the image. The article mentioned that the posters of Nitish Kumar were installed amid the assembly elections in Bihar.
After this, Amit Shah declared Nitish Kumar as the BJP's chief ministerial candidate in Bihar for the 2020 elections. In our Fact Check, we also came across this video report by ABP Bihar, published on October 2, 2020. The video is titled 'Bihar Elections: JDU wrote on its election poster 'Progress is visible, Nitish belongs to everyone'. At the 0.19 mark in the video, the poster can be seen.
We conducted a keyword search across social media with the same keywords within 2020. We found this tweet by AajTak anchor Chitra Tripathi published on October 6, 2020. The image is the exact same image as that being circulated by various media outlets. The same details as the two workers walking by and the wrinkles in the poster can be noticed in both the circulated image and the one shared by Tripathi.
In our Fact Check, we found that the images showing the poster dates back to at least October 2020. Reportedly, the poster was installed by Janata Dal (United) members in the run-up to the Bihar assembly elections 2020. Thus, we can ascertain that a poster showing Nitish Kumar, which dated back to the 2020 Bihar elections, was falsely circulated during the recent Bihar political crisis.
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