In the run-up to the January 22 consecration ceremony at the Ram Mandir, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called for a cleanliness campaign at religious sites across the country. Following this, BJP MPs Manoj Tiwari, Gautam Gambhir and several others, MLAs and politicians took part in the campaign and shared videos of them cleaning temples on social media.
Against this backdrop, a 58-second video of Lavingji Thakor, the BJP MLA from the Radhanpur assembly constituency in Gujarat, sweeping a temple complex started doing the rounds. In the footage, Thakor is seen first dropping garbage on the ground and later sweeping it with a broom. In the same video, it can be seen that he first collects it on the other side of the temple with a broom and then throws the same garbage on the ground. While sharing this, it has been claimed that he pretended to clean the temple, and actually dropped garbage inside and then swept it with a broom.
Congress Kerala’s X handle also tweeted the clip, claiming that the BJP MLA brought waste to the temple premises and then cleaned it up for the camera. (Archived link)
— Congress Kerala (@INCKerala) January 18, 2024
While sharing the video, a parody account named Mahua Moitra Fans wrote that the MLA was cleaning the temple premises but unfortunately, the camera also recorded his acting. (Archived link)
A user named Mister J, an AIMIM supporter, posted the video and wrote that a BJP MLA’s bad acting skills were caught on camera. (Archived link)
The audio in the viral video itself states in Gujarati that the claim about the MLA sweeping the garbage after himself throwing it is unfounded. In fact, while sweeping the temple premises, he had picked up the garbage in his hand. When he was sweeping on the other side, someone asked him to drop the garbage held in his hand, so that it could be thrown into the dustbin along with other waste material.
We noticed that the viral video had a watermark of ‘News18 Gujarati’. Alt News searched the YouTube channel of News18 Gujarati and found that video report. Actually this video is a fact-check video which was uploaded on January 14.
We found a report related to this video on a YouTube channel named Nirbhay News which was uploaded on January 16. At the 1:38 mark of this video report, it can be clearly seen that BJP MLA Lavingji Thakor picked up the garbage after sweeping the right side of the temple (on the left side in the video frame). Later, when he was cleaning the garbage in front of the temple with a broom, he dropped the garbage he was carrying in his hand on the ground, which he then removed everything altogether with a broom.
To sum it up, Congress Kerala, along with several other social media users, shared a video of BJP MLA Lavingji Thakor sweeping at the premises of a temple with the misleading claim that he himself first spread the garbage and then collected it with a broom.
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