A photograph of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee attending former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav's wedding is circulating on social media with false claims that Yadav did not go to pay respect when the BJP leader died in 2018.
The claim takes a dig at the Samajwadi Party president ahead of the upcoming Uttar Pradesh assembly elections in 2022.
BOOM found that the viral claim is false. Akhilesh Yadav reached Atal Bihari Vajpayee's residence located at Krishna Menon Marg to pay respect when the former prime minister died in 2018.
The caption with the photo in Hindi translates to, "Atal ji went to Akhilesh Yadav's wedding. But Akhilesh Yadav did not even go to pay tribute to Atal ji. This is his socialism. Pandit ji usually acts wisely. Bye to cycle in 22."
(Original Text in Hindi: अखिलेश यादव की शादी में अटल जी गये ।लेकिन अखिलेश यादव अटल जी को श्रद्धांजलि तक नही देने गया ।यही इनका समाजवाद है। पंडित जी तो वैसे भी समझदार होते हैं। बाईस में बाइसिकल)
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The photo is being shared on Twitter with a similar claim.
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BOOM did a keyword search related to the leaders who paid respects to the former PM after his death in 2018 and found The Times of India article published on August 18, 2018. The report stated that Akhilesh Yadav along with his father Mulayam Singh Yadav reached Vajpayee's residence on August 17, 2018 to pay respect to Vajpayee.
According to the article, "Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and party president Akhilesh Yadav reached Delhi on Friday to offer floral tributes to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who was later cremated with full state honours in Delhi. While Akhilesh reached Atal's residence on Krishna Menon Marg in Delhi to offer his respects, Mulayam, along with party MP Dharmedra Yadav, visited the BJP headquarters on Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg to pay floral tributes. They later also attended the cremation at Smriti Sthal."
Taking a cue from this, we checked the official Twitter handle of Samajwadi Party and found two photographs on the timeline posted on August 17, 2018 where Akhilesh Yadav can be seen paying tribute to Vajpayee in Delhi. We also found a NDTV news report which reported about a tweet of Akhilesh Yadav carrying the viral picture which shows Vajpayee blessing Akhilesh and his wife Dimple Yadav on their wedding.
Akhilesh wrote, "Late Atal ji raised politics above party politics, taught us to stay unrelenting about party principles and personal philosophy, whenever politics strayed off course, he showed the right way, taught us to seek out friendship with other nations. With Atal ji's passing, the world of Indian politics and literature has lost a prominent voice. Silent salutation!"