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Priyanka Gandhi didn’t abruptly end speech because of azaan, BJP leaders tweeted culled video

Unedited video and media reports about Varanasi rally paint different picture from Sambit Patra and Amit Malviya's claims that Priyanka was indulging in 'Muslim appeasement'. 

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New Delhi: On Thursday, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national spokesperson Sambit Patra accused Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and the party of “appeasing” Muslims during her address at the Kisan Nyay Rally on 10 October in Varanasi. 

Patra uploaded the same video on Twitter twice Tuesday, showing Priyanka and other Congress members listening to the azaan, the Muslim call to prayer, before cutting to interviews of people who attended the rally. 

While one of the attendees asked how the Congress could claim to “protect Hindus” while allowing the azaan to go on “for 10 minutes”, another claimed that Priyanka had paused her speech and called for azaan during the rally. 

This video was also shared by the BJP’s national Information & Technology Department in-charge Amit Malviya. 

“The Congress is upset that the video of them playing azaan in the rally held on 10 Oct in Kashi, the holiest of Hindu cities, has gone viral on social media. Appeasement ploy gone awry. Doing this in Kashi is sacrilege. People in UP are asking if Congress is the new Muslim League?” Malviya tweeted. 

Fact check

The video that Patra and Malviya shared was culled from a longer video. The unedited video and media reports about the rally paint a different picture.

The full 90-minute livestream of Priyanka’s address at the rally, uploaded by the Congress’ YouTube channel, shows the proceedings began with Sanskrit shlokas, and Muslim as well as Sikh religious chanting, in that order.  

The chanting of shlokas during the first five minutes of the video, however, had audio issues. As a result, the YouTube livestream did not pick up the audio even as Priyanka Gandhi is seen listening to it at the rally. 

The audio issues appeared to be resolved by the five-minute mark, as the crowd is heard cheering loudly before the azaan begins. 

Over 50 minutes into the livestream, Priyanka addresses the crowd by reciting shlokas, contrary to the allegations of “Muslim appeasement”. 

A report by PTI said the Congress leader also told the crowd to chant “Jai Mata Di” and ended her speech with the same chant.

Patra and Malviya’s tweets were subsequently called out by users, including Youth Congress President Srinivas B.V. and fact-checker Mohammad Zubair, for sharing the clipped video. 

In collaboration with SM Hoaxslayer

(Edited by Paramita Ghosh)

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