A photo purporting to show Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is drinking alcohol and eating chicken during the Bharat Jodo Yatra, is morphed and fake.
The original picture clicked by journalist and documentary filmmaker Paranjoy Guha Thakurta shows Gandhi having a milk based drink, dry fruits, pumpkin seeds and fox nuts.
The morphed photo is being shared with a caption in Hindi mocking Gandhi, "the ascetic is engrossed in penance".
(Original text in Hindi - तपस्वी तपस्या में लीन हैं)
View post here
View post here
BOOM found that the picture is morphed and the glass of alcohol and chicken added to make the false claim.
A reverse image search on the picture led us to the original photo tweeted by journalist and documentary filmmaker Paranjoy Guha Thakurta on January 7, 2023.
In his tweet, Thakurta said that he met Gandhi and the rest of the Bharat Jodo Yatra members when he was travelling to Punjab. Thakurta tweeted, "It was sheer coincidence: travelling to Punjab this morning, I crossed the Bharat Jodo Yatra. With some difficulty and a scuffle, I was able to meet Rahul Gandhi while he was eating at a dhaba a few kms from Karnal. We discussed politics, economics and India's richest men..." and in another tweet added that he presented Gandhi with his book.
In the photo, one can clearly see a glass of a milk based drink, two plates with dry fruits and pumpkin seeds and a packet of fox nuts. There is no chicken dish, alcohol glass or bottle on the table.
A comparison between the viral edited picture and the original can be seen below -
We also checked several news reports reporting on the Karnal stretch of the yatra which mentioned that Gandhi stopped to have tea and snacks at a restaurant in the area after entering the city. The same photo and details about the Karnal stretch were reported by News24 in a video story about the Bharat Jodo Yatra.
We also reached out to Thakurta who said, "'The viral photo is edited and completely fake. I condemn that an attempt is being made to defame him (Rahul Gandhi) in this way, if you have any problem with any leader then start a political struggle. Whoever is sharing such a picture is very wrong."
Congress's Bharat Jodo Yatra which started from Kanyakumari, Kerala on September 10, 2022 is currently passing through Haryana, having travelled through several states including the capital - New Delhi. Led by Rahul Gandhi and joined by various Congress workers, the yatra will end in Kashmir.
The Bharat Jodo Yatra and Gandhi has been a target of several pieces of misinformation since it began. Read how BOOM has debunked misinformation around the Yatra here