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Republic TV Falsely Portrays Man Praising PM Modi as a Congress MLA

The Congress MLA, Anil Upadhyay who was featured in a ‘Breaking News’ by Republic TV is a fictional character.

“कांग्रेस के विधायक अनिल उपाध्याय भी हुए पीएम मोदी के मुरीद, बंधे तारीफों के पूल (Translated: Congress MLA, Anil Upadhyay also becomes a disciple / fan of Modi, lavishes praise on him)”. The Breaking News headlines telecast on April 27th by Republic TV’s Hello Bharat program, carried a video of a person praising PM Modi and saying that only the corrupt want him to lose. The anchors further explained what they called the ‘big news’ saying that not only the common citizens of the country but also PM Modi’s political opponents are full of praise for him. They introduced the person as Anil Upadhyay, a Congress MLA from Madhya Pradesh.

The video was also viral on social media with a Facebook page of one Kanak Mishra garnering over 10,000 shares. “What will Rahul Gandhi say to his MLA’s act? Make this video so viral that the entire country sees it”, said Mishra in his Facebook post.

*कोंग्रेस विधायक अनिल* *उपाध्याय की इस हरकत पर क्या कहेगे राहुल जी,* *इस video को इतना वायरल करो की ये पूरा हिन्दुस्तान…

Posted by कनक मिश्र on Saturday, April 27, 2019

Fact-Check:

No Congress MLA by this name

Who is this Congress MLA from Madhya Pradesh whose video praising PM Modi is not only viral on social media but has been also been telecast on national television?

Alt News searched the MyNeta database that there is no Congress MLA called Anil Upadhyay. The search throws up two persons by the same name – Dr. Anil Upadhyay, a BSP leader from Jodhpur who contested the Rajasthan polls in 2018, and Anil Kumar Upadhyay, an independent candidate from Lucknow who contested the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections in 2007 and 2012. There was no Congress leader from Madhya Pradesh by this name.

After it was established that the person in the video was not a Congress MLA from Madhya Pradesh, Alt News tried to establish the identity of the person.

Several viral videos of the same person with different claims

Alt News has come across several viral videos of the same man, each one with a different claim. In December, 2018 a video of the same man praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi was viral on social media with claims suggesting that he is Rajasthan Deputy CM Sachin Pilot’s father-in-law. Alt News had debunked this fake claim pointing out that Sachin Pilot is married to Sara Abdullah who is the daughter of J&K National Conference chief and ex-Chief Minister of J&K Farooq Abdullah.

Earlier this month, the same person was seeing crying on video over people being critical of PM Modi. In this video he was sitting with a group of people in open ground doing yoga.

The person in the video was identified by Quint as Mohan (Munna) Pandey. Several videos of Pandey have been shared by twitter user, Tanmay Shankar (@Shanktan). In all these videos, he is seen as making a very spirited and emotional case for supporting PM Modi. Speaking to Quint, Shankar confirmed that the person is Mohan Pandey and is known to him personally.

It is clear from above that Congress MLA, Anil Upadhyay who was featured in a ‘Breaking News’ by Republic TV is a fictional character. The video is of one Mohan Pandey, who is regularly featured in videos, perhaps due to his impassioned appeals in favour of PM Modi. These videos get viral on social media from time to time with different narrative and often an attempt is made to project him as a Congress leader praising PM Modi. This time, it was not just gullible social media users, but a national television channel like Republic TV who shared the video without any fact check.

This article was first published at Alt News.

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