Edited video of north Indian state chief minister promoted online by BJP member

·3 min read

A video that purports to show the chief minister of the northern Indian state of Punjab admitting to making false election promises has been viewed tens of thousands of times on Twitter and Facebook. The video circulated online as his party, which is in opposition to India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), pledged to "make India the number one country in the world". The clip, however, has been misleadingly edited from a longer video. In the original clip, the opposition politician said his party would fulfill its promises, but would also acknowledge what it cannot accomplish.

The seven-second long clip was shared here on Twitter by Arun Yadav, a member of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on September 8, 2022.

It appears to show Punjab state chief minister Bhagwant Mann, leader of the BJP's rival Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), saying in Hindi: "We do things that we promise. We even speak of things which we can’t do."

The accompanying Hindi-language caption reads: "We even speak of things which we can’t do. Don’t drink this much."

Yadav appears to be poking fun at Mann, who has faced criticism for his drinking problems. He publicly announced that he would give up alcohol completely at a public rally in Punjab in 2019, local media reported.

A screenshot of the misleading post taken on September 19, 2022

The clip circulated as the AAP launched its "Make India No.1 campaign" during a town hall with young people in the northern Haryana state on September 7, 2022.

The party's chief, Arvind Kejriwal, said his mission was to make an alliance of 1.3 billion Indians, local media reported.

The clip was also shared alongside a similar claim on Facebook here and here, and on Twitter here and here.

The video, however, has been edited to omit Mann's full quote.

A keyword search on YouTube found Mann's full speech in a one-hour and six-minute video on the AAP's official YouTube channel on September 7, 2022.

The video's Hindi-language title translates to English as: "Arvind Kejriwal and Bhagwant Mann conduct a town hall meeting with Haryana’s youth."

Both AAP leaders spoke during the town hall meeting, in which they launched their campaign and criticised their rivals.

The section of Mann's speech shared in the misleading posts can be seen from the video's 18-minute, nine-second mark.

At this point in the clip, he says: "We do things that we promise. What we cannot do, we say that too...that this cannot be done."

AAP Punjab's spokesperson Vaibhav Maheshwari told AFP the clip of Mann that had circulated online was misleading.

"Its actual meaning is, we clarify what we cannot do, unlike others who make false promises and commitments about the work that they don't finish doing," he said.

CORRECTION: This story was updated on 23/9/22 to clarify that the state of Punjab is in northern India.