Home Minister of India and BJP’s senior leader Amit Shah addressed a rally in Jharkhand, Gadhwa ahead of the upcoming Assembly elections in the state. In the speech, Amit Shah essentially spoke about the achievements of the Modi government and also encouraged everyone to work for BJP’s victory in Jharkhand. The media, however, has taken it upon themselves to twist Amit Shah’s statements and help the cause of BJP’s opposition.
The media across the spectrum reported that Amit Shah expressed displeasure at the turnout in the election rally at Jharkhand and even chastised the BJP workers for the thin crowd.
Jansatta reported that Amit Shah got angry upon seeing the ‘thin crowd’ and Shah said: “Don’t fool me, I am also a Baniya” from the stage to BJP leaders.
Where there is fake news, NDTV certainly cannot stay too far behind.
The very first paragraph of the NDTV article reads, “In Gadhwa, Jharkhand, BJP workers have faced the displeasure of home minister and BJP national president Amit Shah. Amit Shah was addressing an election rally there, but it is being said that the crowd was not the same as is usually seen in Amit Shah’s rallies. Seeing the thin crowd, Amit Shah said, ‘I too am a baniya, I know that elections are not won by the crowd of 20 to 25 thousand who come to the meeting, but send this message and video to 50-50 relatives through mobile’.”
NDTV also went on to quote Hemant Soren, who is the Leader of Opposition in Jharkhand and the former CM. He is also the executive president of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha. Soren had tweeted the same fake news reported by Jagran.
शासन-प्रशासन का दुरुपयोग कर भीड़ जुटाओ-झूठ फैलाओं कार्यक्रम के आदी भाजपा वालों की नींद उड़ी हुई है। 5 साल इन्होंने जमकर ठगा सखी मंडल की मेरी बहनों और झारखंडी जनता को। मगर अब कोई बहकावे में नहीं आने वाला।
अब जनता चुनेंगी एक सच्ची सरकार, झारखंडी सरकार।#JharkhandAssemblyPolls pic.twitter.com/N56xNSulch
— Hemant Soren (@HemantSorenJMM) November 28, 2019
Several other news portals like The Quint peddled the same lie.
Another news article that went on to claim that Amit Shah turned to BJP leaders and chastised them for the thin crowd went on to claim that even the mic was switched off when Amit Shah supposedly “got angry” about the “thin crowds”. This article was peddled by Congress, beholden fake news peddlers.
Amit Shah saw a thin crowd at his rally in Jharkhand. Turned to others on the dias and said: Aap mujhe bewakoof mat banao. Main bhi baniya hoon. Ye dus pandrah hazar logon se jeet lenge kya.
The mic wasn’t switched off but. pic.twitter.com/KFQ9xBXXur
— Ankur Bhardwaj (@Bhayankur) November 29, 2019
The sheer shamelessness of this fake news is apparent when one sees the video of the Amit Shah rally, specifically, the part where Amit Shah makes the statement, “Don’t fool me, I am also a Baniya”.
From the video, it is evident that Amit Shah was giving the crowd a mere electoral pep talk in his speech.
After the crowd chants “yes” when asked if they will vote for BJP, Amit Shah asks the crowd that while they are saying “yes”, is it possible to win elections with 20,000 – 25,000 people?”. When the crowd chants “yes” after the second time Amit Shah poses that question, in jest, Amit Shah says that “why are you saying yes, even I am a baniya, don’t fool me. Even I know we can’t win the election only with 20,000 – 25,000 people”.
He then tells the crowd that “Only 20000-25000 people will not win this election, all the people who are here, within 2 hours of the end of this meeting, call 50 close people like a brother-in-law, aunt-aunt, uncle-aunt, maternal uncle and ask them to vote for BJP and strengthen PM Modi”.
As evident from the video, Amit Shah was not talking to BJP leaders but rather, the crowd and encouraging them to bring more voters along since obviously, no election is won by only the crowd present at a public rally, no matter what the numbers are.
The Media that has traditionally been sympathetic to Congress twisted that to allege that Amit Shah got angry with BJP leaders for the ‘thin crowds’. In fact, a section of the media also went a step ahead and alleged that the mic was switched off when Amit Shah got supposedly “angry” at BJP leaders.
One look at the video would have not only clarified the context of Amit Shah’s statement, but also the fact that at no point of time was the mic switched off. The only plausible explanation is that the media willfully chose to ignore facts and peddle blatant fake news that would then help the opposition to build their narrative on.