An old photo showing a fleet of buses along a winding road is being shared with the false claim that it shows buses at the Uttar Pradesh border arranged by Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to ferry stranded migrant workers home.
The image is viral in the backdrop of a political tussle between the Yogi Adityanath led Uttar Pradesh government and the opposition Congress party. The UP government on May 18, 2020, accepted the proposal by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to run 1,000 buses for migrants stranded due to the lockdown after she tweeted an appeal following a spate of accidents involving migrant workers in the state. (Read more here)
However, later the UP government accused the Congress leader of fraud alleging the list of buses had registration numbers belong to autos, two-wheelers and goods carriers.
Hundreds of migrant workers are walking long distances on highways to reach their home states following the Coronavirus driven lockdown. In its fourth phase of lockdown, many states have eased restrictions on business and movement of vehicles. (Read more)
The viral image was tweeted by Sushmita Dev, President, All India Mahila Congress, thanking Gandhi for taking the step.
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Dev later deleted the tweet after several users pointed out that it was an old image.
We also found that the photo was being shared on Facebook.
It's not a train— Abdul Rasheed (@AbdulRa62649742) May 18, 2020
1000 busses sent by Priyanka Gandhi to bring back migrant workers in Uthar Pradesh to Rajsthan pic.twitter.com/KuuRajUSsP
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The viral photo was also tweeted by NDTV India journalist Umashankar Singh while reporting that the Uttar Pradesh government has given permission to run the buses sent by the Congress. However, he later tweeted claiming that he had used it as a representational photo in the tweet and it was taken during the Kumbh Mela.
ये एक सांकेतिक तस्वीर है। कांग्रेस ने 1000 बसें भेजी है। सड़क पर मज़दूरों के कुंभ को कम करने के लिए। इसलिए कुंभ से जुड़ी इस तस्वीर को शुभ चिन्ह के तौर पर लीजिए।— Umashankar Singh उमाशंकर सिंह (@umashankarsingh) May 18, 2020
गाली गलौज करने वाले तो किसी भी बात पर करते हैं। उनका लोड नहीं लेता। मज़दूरों के साथ जो खड़ा है, हम उनसे साथ खड़े हैं।
On performing a reverse image search using Yandex, a Russian search engine, the search results showed that the photo was taken in February 2019, during the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh.
The UP government's Prayagraj Mela Authority had made it to the Guinness World Record for the largest parade of buses when 500 buses with the Kumbh logo were used they covered a stretch of 3.2 km in the district.
News agency Asian News International (ANI) Uttar Pradesh had tweeted photographs of the fleet of buses on February 28, 2019, when the UP state transport corporation had attempted to break the record which was previously held by the United Arab Emirates of running 390 buses in a parade.
Prayagraj: Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) attempts Guinness Book of World Records for the longest fleet of 500 buses. The buses with the Kumbh logo will cover a stretch of 3.2 km in the district. #Kumbh2019 pic.twitter.com/zLpCJeeOsO— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) February 28, 2019
The second photograph tweeted by ANI is the same as the viral image which is now viral on social media. We also found several news reports carrying the same photo while reporting on the event.
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