An old photograph of Congress President Sonia Gandhi with her son and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is being shared with a false claim that the man in the photograph is not Rahul Gandhi but Ottavio Quattrocchi, an Italian businessman whose name figured in the Bofors scam.
The photo is shared with a Hindi claim, which reads “ये राहुल खान नही है,ये उनकी कैबरे डासर माँ के करीबी दोस्त ओत्तावियो क्वात्रोची है,बॉंकी इस फोटो को देखकर कुछ कहने की जरूरत नही है..”
[Translation: This is not Rahul Khan, this is his cabaret dancer mother’s close friend Ottavio Quatrocchi. There is nothing else to say about this photo after looking at it.]
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
All three articles carry the same caption for the image, which says, “Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi at the raising day function of the Special Protection group,” and two of them credit the image to PTI.
In one of the articles, the photograph is published with the PTI code and date stamp, denoting the the photo was taken in New Delhi in 1996.
Sonia Gandhi and other members of the Gandhi family have been the target of online hate and misinformation, which is misyogistic, communal and sexist in nature.
The Quint has previously debunked such misinformation where pictures of actors in beachwear have been used to question the Congress president’s character. Altered photos of Gandhi have also been circulated to do the same.
WHO IS OTTAVIO QUATTROCCHI?
Ottavio Quattrocchi was an Italian businessman who faced charges in India for acting as a conduit for bribes in the Bofors scandal until 2009.
He was considered a key figure in the weapons contract between the Indian government and (formerly) Swedish arms manufacturers Bofors AB during the 1980’s and 1990’s.
His family was reportedly close to the Gandhis’ during former PM Rajiv Gandhi’s rule, thereby tarnishing the party’s image when news about the scandal broke in 1987. In 2011, the CBI dropped all charges against Quattrocchi before his demise in 2013.
Evidently, this photograph shows Sonia and Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi in 1996, during the raising day functions for the Special Protection group.
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