A video showing Bhupesh Baghel, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, welcoming several senior Congress leaders with a golden garland, made out of grass by the indigenous Baiga tribe, is viral with false claims that the leaders were welcomed with pure gold chain.
The video shows visuals of Baghel welcoming guests ahead of the 85th Plenary session of the Indian National Congress at the airport.
Congress leader Pranav Jha, who is currently attending the session in Chhattisgarh, confirmed to BOOM that the garland was made out of grass by artisans of the Baiga community, an indigenous tribe.
Congress began its 3-day conclave on February 24, in Nava Raipur, Chhattisgarh to reconstruct the party strategy eyeing the General Elections, 2024. Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi are expected to deliver speech at the end of the session today.
The 1.30 minutes video shows a grand welcome event of senior Congress leaders such as Meena Kumari, P Chidambaram, Salman Khurshid and other delegates. In the video each leader is being garlanded with a gold chain offered by Baghel.
The video has been widely shared on Facebook with a caption in Hindi, “It seems that in Chhattisgarh, gold has become more than potato, so our Chief Minister welcomed all the guests with a gold chain. Traditionally they are welcomed with flowers with folded hands by putting tika but here it is welcomed by gold chain."
(Original Texts in Hindi: “लगता है छत्तीसगढ़ में आलू से सोना बहुत ज़्यादा बन गया है इस लिए हमारे मुख्यमंत्री महोदय ने सभी अतिथियों का स्वागत सोने की चैन पहना कर किया। रम्परागत तो टिका लगा कर हाथ जोड़ कर फुल से स्वागत होता है लेकिन यहां तो सोने की चैन से स्वागत हो रहा है #लुटेरों_का_अधिवेशन”)
View the Facebook post here.
The video has been shared on Twitter with the same claim.
The tweet is archived here.
BOOM ran a keyword search on Google which led us to a video uploaded on YouTube on February 24 by The Indian Express. The title of the video is, “Chhattisgarh: CM Bhupesh Baghel Welcome Congress Leaders At Raipur Ahead Of Plenary Session.” The video was originally posted by Congress on Twitter on the same day.
BOOM reached out to Pranav Jha, AICC secretary. Jha is currently attending the session in Nava Raipur.
Jha confirmed to BOOM that it was not a gold chain. “The garland was made with grass by artisans of the Baiga community, an indigenous tribe. Senior leaders were garlanded with it as a mark of respect to the indigenous people of Chhattisgarh,” Jha told BOOM.
We also noticed Priyanka Gandhi, the general secretary of Indian National Congress welcomed on February 25, with the same type of garland.
Jha also shared an image and video of the traditional accessory with BOOM.
Baiga is an ethnic group from the central part of India primarily in Madhya Pradesh, and in smaller numbers in the neighbouring states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. You can read more about the culture of Baiga community here and here.
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