A viral graphic claiming Boris Johnson, United Kingdom Prime Minister canceled his upcoming visit to India because of the ongoing farmers' protests is false.
Johnson was scheduled to visit India and attend the Republic Day celebrations on January 26, 2021, as the chief guest, however, the visit was cancelled after a new variant of coronavirus emerged in the UK, putting parts of the country back into a state of total lockdown.
The false claim is being shared as the farmers protest continues at several borders leading into Delhi. Thousands of farmers especially from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have camped at the borders since November 26, 2020 braving the cold, rain and at time police lathicharge demanding the repeal of three Farm Bills passed by the central government last year.
The viral graphic with a photo of Johnson has text in Hindi that translates to, "Big win for the farmers' movement on the international stage: UK PM cancels India visit on Republic Day"
(In Hindi - किसान आंदोलन की अंतराष्ट्रीय मंच पर बड़ी जीत ब्रिटेन के पीएम ने गणतंत्र दिवस पर होने वाला भारतीय दौरा रद्द किया)
Viral on Facebook
On searching on Facebook with the same caption, we found that the graphic is being shared with the false claim.
Additionally, PTI reported the Sankyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of the protesting farmer unions, as saying that the cancellation of Johnson's visit was a political win for them and a diplomatic defeat for the government.
BOOM found a press release issued by the Indian Prime Minister's Office dated January 5, 2021, which states that Johnson in a telephonic conversation with Modi, cited the prevailing situation in the UK given the new variant of COVID-19 and the rising number of cases.
The statement reads, "Prime Minister Johnson reiterated his thanks for India's invitation for him as the Chief Guest of the forthcoming Republic Day celebrations, but regretted his inability to attend in view of the changed COVID-19 context prevailing in the UK. He reiterated his keenness to visit India in the near future."
The Indian High Commission in London also tweeted a link to a press release by the PMO regarding the telephonic conversation between the Prime Ministers.
Additionally, we did not find any credible news reports disputing the official reason for the cancellation of the UK PM's visit.
BOOM has previously debunked misinformation around the farmers' protests with protesters being targeted with fake news and old photos and videos being shared as recent.
Follow BOOM's thread on misinformation around the farmers' protests.
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