A 2016 clip of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal reading a letter alleging that Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Amit Shah and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen’s (AIMIM) Akbaruddin Owaisi stuck a “secret deal” ahead of the Bihar polls has been revived after the NDA won the recently concluded Assembly elections in the state.
The claim with which the aforementioned clip is being shared reads: “Shocking revelation by Kejriwal: Shah and Owaisi had a secret deal before Bihar polls to divide votes. Polarization is used as a political tool to target opposition.” (sic)
In the said clip, Kejriwal, who appears to be reading from a letter can be heard saying that a meeting took place between Amit Shah and Akbaruddin Owaisi at the former’s residence.
He further says, “(Yatin) Oza has written that he was present in that meeting where a detailed discussion took place about the AIMIM fielding its candidates in Bihar, particularly in the Muslim belt. It was also decided that Owaisi will vomit poisonous communal speech, script of which shall be written by Amit Shah.”
Kejriwal further says that while Owaisi and the BJP will come out as opponents before the people but Owaisi will only speak on “dotted lines as decided by the BJP”.
This claim is massively viral on Facebook and Twitter amid allegations being levelled at the AIMIM for functioning as the BJP’s “B-team” by diving the Mahagathbandhan vote.
The Quint received a query on the claim being made in the video on its WhatsApp tipline.
WHAT WE FOUND
We went through the comments section of the viral post and found that certain people were suggesting that the video is old.
Further, 25 seconds into the video, Kejriwal who is reading the letter says, “It was decided that Owaisi would field candidates in Bihar, particularly in the Muslim belt which was to go to polls on 5 November...”
It must be noted that the 2020 Bihar Assembly elections were held in three phases on 28 October, 3 November and 7 November. There was no polling on 5 November.
Further, we fragmented the video into multiple key-frames using the InVid Google Chrome extension and ran a reverse search on one of the frames. This directed us to the same video uploaded on YouTube by the Delhi government on 18 July 2016.
In the video, Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia can be seen discussing a letter by Yatin Oza, a former BJP MLA, with singer and music composer Vishal Dadlani.
Taking a cue from there, we searched Google with the keywords Kejriwal on Owaisi and Amit Shah’s secret deal + Yatin Oza and found a report by Outlook dated 11 July 2016, which mentioned Oza, who claimed that Shah and Owaisi had struck a deal to polarise voters in the Muslim-dominated northern belt ahead of the Bihar polls, had joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Another report by the Ahmedabad Mirror corroborated these details.
Oza is also mentioned by Kejriwal multiple times in the viral video.
Clearly, an old video from 2016 was shared without context after results for the 2020 Bihar Assembly polls were released.
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