(This article was originally published in Newschecker Hindi by Shubham Singh)
Amid the collapse of a cable bridge in Gujarat’s Morbi recently, where 135 have people died, an image of a man sharing the frame with PM Modi is going viral on social media. Users sharing the photograph identified him as Odhavji Patel, the ‘owner’ of Oreva group which was awarded the contract to repair and maintain the bridge. Newschecker found the claims to be untrue.
The image has been shared on Twitter by the official account of the Odisha Youth Congress along with the caption ‘The man who got the contract to repair and maintain the #MorbiBridge is also a Modi crony. Only those who pay upfront via election bonds and cash, get business from the Modi Govt. The going rate is reportedly 40%. It’s more than just criminal.’
Newschecker found similar claims on Twitter in English and Hindi.
Fact Check /Verification
We started our investigation conducting a reverse search on Google of the viral image and found a report by VTV Gujarati uploaded on their website on 14th October, 2021. According to the report, the man in the image is Gujarat Agriculture Minister Raghavji Patel who had a special meeting with PM Modi.
Using this as a clue we conducted a keyword search on Facebook to find the official account of Raghavji Patel and found a post uploaded by the account of Raghavji Patel on 14th October, 2021.
The post was captioned ‘Respected Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji means hope for the people of the nation, the authority that paved the way for the whole country in disasters, today we felt blessed when Shree took time for a greeting visit, guided and wished for a bright tenure,’ when translated via Google translate.
We then conducted a keyword search on Google with the words “Oreva Group”, “Morbi bridge contract” and found a report by Indian Express uploaded on their website on 1st November 2022 titled ‘Oreva Group traces its origin to India’s leading clock brand’.
According to the report, Odhavji Raghavji Patel’s three sons Praveen, Ashok and Jaysukh initially helped grow the company. After a while, there was a dispute between the three brothers after which Praveen formed the Orpat group, Ashok pioneered the Ajanta brand and at the same time, Odhav’s third son Jaysukh Bhai founded the company under the name of Oreva Group.
Upon conducting a keyword search with the words ‘Odhavji Raghavji Patel’ on Google, we found a report by LiveMint uploaded on their website on 19th October, 2012 titled ‘’Father of wall clocks’ Odhavji Raghavji dies at age 87’.
Odhavji Patel passed away in 2012 at the age of 87. Odhavji, known as the ‘Father of Wall Clock’. Apart from wall clocks, his company made many items like electric bikes, tube lights, and watches.
We did a comparative analysis of the photographs of Odhavji Patel and Raghavji Patel.
Apart from this, we have contacted the Oreva group and Gujarat minister Raghavji Patel. The article will be updated when a response is received.
Newschecker’s investigation reveals that the man in picture with PM Modi is Gujarat Agriculture Minister Raghavji Patel and not the owner of Oreva group that received the contract for the repair works in Morbi bridge.
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