A video showing Congress President Sonia Gandhi and former PM Manmohan Singh greeting a group of dignitaries is going viral on social media platforms. In the footage, Gandhi can be seen gesturing to Singh to take a seat on the side, before shaking hands with one of the dignitaries from the group. Gandhi then occupies the main seat- with the Indian tricolour installed behind it. Several social media users shared the video claiming to show how Sonia Gandhi sidelined Manmohan Singh while he was serving as the Prime Minister of India.
During the Manmohan Singh regime, the opposition had often alleged that despite being in the chair he had little to no power. Additionally, in the 2014 book Sanjaya Baru, once the media advisor to Singh when he was PM, also claimed that as the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh had no power. It is on these lines that the video claiming to show Sonia Gandhi sidelining “PM” Manmohan Singh is going viral. Newschecker found the claim to be misleading.
Twitter user @BattaKashmiri shared the video captioned “Those who believe that Manmohan Singh was the Prime Minister of India for 10 years must watch this 30 seconds video four times…!” The post, dated September 28, 2022, has garnered over 4.9k retweets, 14K likes and has been viewed around 169K times so far.
Several other Twitter users posted the video calling Manmohan Singh a “Puppet PM,” shared the clip to show “ #DecadeOfDecay under Manmohan Singh,” among other claims.
Arviched links to such tweets can be seen here, here, here and here.
Old Claim Resurfaces
A keyword search for “Manmohan Singh, “Prime Minister,” and “10 years” on Facebook and Twitter led us to several posts from 2021. The posts carried the same video with similar claims. Such posts can be seen here, here, here, and here.
Also Read: No, Oxford University Did Not Announce Scholarship In Honour of Manmohan Singh
A Sri Lankan flag can be seen alongside the Indian tricolor in the viral video. Taking a clue, we conducted a keyword search for “Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh,” and “Sri Lankan dignitaries” on Google which led us to a YouTube video by NNIS – News, dated April 26, 2017, titled ‘Sri Lanka PM Holds Talks With Sonia Gandhi And Manmohan Singh.’ On comparing the keyframes of the viral clip with the video by NNIS – News, we could conclude that both the visuals show the same event.
The description of the YouTube video reads, “On his four-day visit to India, Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe met opposition party leader Sonia Gandhi and former Indian PM Dr. Manmohan Singh.”
Further, we looked up the keywords “Sonia Gandhi, “Manmohan Singh,” and “Ranil Wickremesinghe” on Google and set the time frame of the search from April 1, 2017, to April 30, 2017, which yielded a tweet by news agency ANI, dated April 26, 2017. The post carried two photographs from the aforementioned meeting between the then Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and former PM Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi. An archived version of the same can be seen here.
Notably, Dr. Manmohan Singh served as the Prime Minister of India till May 26, 2014, and was succeeded by Narendra Modi. The viral visuals of the Gandhi-Wickremesinghe meeting are from 2017 when Dr. Manmohan Singh was not the Prime Minister of India. The meeting was evidently between an opposition party, the Congress, headed by Gandhi and Wickremesinghe. Singh was present in the capacity of a senior party member.
The then-Sri Lankan PM, Ranil Wickremesinghe was on a working visit to India from 25-29 April 2017. He had met PM Modi and discussed a range of bilateral issues and matters of mutual interest.
A viral post claiming to show Sonia Gandhi sidelining Manmohan Singh during his tenure as the Indian Prime Minister is misleading as it is being shared in a false context. The visuals are from a 2017 meeting between Congress leaders and then-Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe when Singh was not the PM of India.
Result: Missing Context
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