2018 Photo Of Empty Chairs From BJP Event Viral As West Bengal
The photos are from a three-year old event by the BJP to launch a youth assimilation programme in Varanasi, UP.
A set of photos - one showing Home Minister Amit Shah, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Mahendra Nath Pandey and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, and another showing rows of empty chairs from a 2018 event in Varanasi has been revived claiming it shows people not attending Bharatiya Janata Party events in West Bengal.
BOOM found these photos to be more than three-years old; both the pictures were taken at a youth assimilation event organised by the BJP in Varanasi in 2018, and does not show one of Shah's recent rallies.
We found an account with the name "I am with Priyanka Gandhi" sharing the photo on Facebook, which got over 600 shares and 1000 likes, at the time of writing this article.
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We found a Hindi caption written on the photo, saying "भीड़ बुलाने के लिए खाने के पैकेट रखने पड़े" (to attract a crowd, had to keep some packets of food). Searching with the caption on Facebook, we found the post viral on the social media platform.
Shah, along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other top BJP leaders like Adityanath have frequently rallied in Bengal and Assam ahead of the polls. The revival of these posts at this moment gives the impression that these photos are from one of the recent rallies.
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We split the photo into two, and looked each of them up on Google using the reverse image search tool. The image with the empty chairs directed us to an article by Live Hindustan from 2018 about a youth assimilation programme called "Yuva Udghosh" being launched by Shah at Varanasi, in the presence of Adityanath and Pandey.
Amar Ujala also reported on the event, saying that the BJP was expecting a crowd of 17,000 youths to be present, but only 7000 showed up.
We also matched the image of Shah sitting with Yogi and Pandey, to their pictures from the event as published on the Live Hindustan articles. Upon closer look we found the three in the same clothes and setting, this confirming that both the photos are from the same three-year old event as well.
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