Several social media users have shared an image of a billboard featuring former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath sending ‘Republic Day’ wishes, ahead of Independence Day, on Saturday, 15 August.
However, we found that the image shows KK Plaza in MP’s Bhopal and the locals confirmed to The Quint that the billboard actually shows an advertisement of Bandhan Bank.
Taking a dig at Congress, BJP spokesperson Suresh Nakhua shared the image on Twitter and wrote, “कांग्रेसियों ने फिर करायी फ़ज़ीहत नकुल नाथ और उनके समर्थकों ने दी ‘गणतंत्र दिवस’ की शुभकामना। One more Pappu ka Paplu”
(Translated: Congress has insulted themselves again. Nakul Nath and his supporters have sent Republic Day wishes.)
The tweet had garnered over 1,100 likes and over 400 retweets at the time of publishing the article.
Several social media users shared the viral image on Twitter and Facebook.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
We did a reverse search of the image of the billboard but could not find it online.
We could identify a banner saying “Amit Shukla classes” in the viral image and then searched on Google using keywords “Amit Shukla classes madhya pradesh”. This led us to its exact location as KK Plaza, Maharana Pratap Nagar, Bhopal.
Then, we got in touch with a few locals near KK Plaza who refuted the claim that any ‘Republic Day’ poster featuring former chief minister Kamal Nath have been put over the said building.
Maaz Usmani, who works in a restaurant called ‘Khan Sahab Express’ located in KK Plaza, shared the actual image of the billboard that can be seen over the building on email.
“There is no billboard that shows Kamal Nath’s photo or Republic day written on it. The actual billboard over the building has an advertisement of Bandhan Bank,” he told The Quint.
We also checked the EXIF data of the image sent by Maaz on email and the data revealed that the image was captured on Thursday, 13 August, at 6:18 pm.
Further, Maaz is not the only one who confirmed that the viral image is fake.
Two people working in a nearby hotel and a medical clinic respectively told The Quint that the billboard over the building shows a Bandhan Bank advertisement.
Meanwhile, fact-checking website SM Hoax Slayer spoke to a person in an agency called RK Publicity, that had put the billboard showing the Bandhan Bank advertisement.
"“The agency had put up the Bandhan Bank advertisement two days back. Before that, it had the contact details of the agency in case anybody wanted to reach out to the agency.”" - A person in RK Publicity told SM Hoax Slayer
Further, it is extremely easy to put a fake or morphed poster over any image and can be done using photoshop or any other online editing tool.
Evidently, the viral image tweeted out by BJP spokesperson Suresh Nakhua for mocking Congress for putting Republic Day billboards, ahead of Independence Day celebrations, is fake.
(With inputs from SM Hoax Slayer)
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