A male voice endorsing 'one nation, one religion', hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policies and criticising India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru for declaring the country as a secular state—in an audio clip, has been revived on social media. The video contains an image of Lakshmi Mittal, the executive chairman of steel producer ArcelorMittal. The man speaking in the clip can be heard claiming his grandfather was the largest steel manufacturer in the country after the Tatas. The audio clip is captioned on Facebook as, "Your holy place is holy and my holy place is negotiable?" Amazingly bold statement by Laxmi Mittal (ArcelorMittal), largest manufacturer of steel in the world as on today. Plz listen. It is too good to listen till end, it is quite short, Bravo Mittal ji. Very well spoken even if not by Laxmi Mittal no need for fact check.” (sic). BOOM also received the same audio clip on its WhatsApp tipline (+91 7700906588).
BOOM debunked the same audio clip in September 2019 and February this year when it went viral with the same false claim and misidentified the speaker as ArcelorMittal group executive chairman Lakshmi Mittal. On September 19, 2019 the group had tweeted about the viral audio clip and clarified that, “An audio file is circulating online claiming to be remarks on Indian politics and religion by our Chairman and CEO. We do not know who the speaker is, but it is not Mr Lakshmi Mittal”. ArcelorMittal had reiterated the same when BOOM reached out to them for a response regarding the viral claim. However, BOOM was not able to verify the identity of the speaker in the viral audio independently.
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