A newspaper cutting is going viral on social media platforms with the headline: “Rahul admits, Congress is a Muslim Party. It is mentioned in this news: “Urdu daily newspaper ‘Inquilab’ published in Jammu and Kashmir, has revealed, Rahul Gandhi revealed in a secret meeting with Muslim intellectuals that Congress is a party for Muslims. It is claimed that Rahul Gandhi apologized to Muslim leaders for visiting temples in Gujarat. He promised the Muslim Personal Law Board that if he becomes Prime Minister in 2019, the demand to establish Sharia courts in every district will be fulfilled.
A parody account of Miraya Gandhi Vadra posted a newspaper cutting on Twitter(X) and wrote: ” In 2024 it will be known what is Sanatan Dharma and how powerful it is! BJP can never lose in the presence of you people. #सनातन_धर्म_ही_सर्वश्रेष्ठ_है #SanatanDharma #INDIAAlliance #उदय_निधि_को_गिरफ्तार_करो #CongressMuktBharat”(English Translation)
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To verify the claim stated in the above newspaper cutting, the DFRAC team visited the website of the Urdu newspaper ‘Inquilab’ and found that Urdu Newspaper, Inquilab was established in 1938 by the Late Abdul Hamid Ansari, a freedom fighter and an educationist. It is a part of Mid-day Infomedia Ltd. Inquilab publishes its edition in Delhi, Lucknow, Varanasi, Meerut, Aligarh, Bareilly, Gorakhpur, Kanpur, Allahabad, Patna, Muzaffarpur and Bhagalpur. The newspaper has not published its Jammu and Kashmir edition till now.
When the Dfrac team looked at the news published by Inquilab on July 12, 2018, the team found that there is no mention of Rahul Gandhi apologizing to Muslim leaders for visiting temples in Gujarat and opening Sharia courts in every district.
Following this, the team searched some keywords on Google in the context of the above claim and discovered that the fake news regarding Rahul Gandhi, was originated in such a manner that Former Rajya Sabha MP, senior journalist, and current National Lok Dal (RLD) leader, Shahid Siddiqui, expressed his doubts over the report of Urdu daily newspaper Inquilab and its authenticity on July 12, 2018 on Twitter.
Sharing a newspaper cutting on Twitter(X) which captioned as ‘Yes! Congress is the party of Muslims’, he wrote:” Urdu daily Inquilab has quoted Rahul Gandhi saying “Yes Congress is a Muslim party”. Is the quote correct or party will contradict it? Muslims don’t want a Muslim party, they want a National Secular party, which doesn’t discriminate between citizens”.
The then leaders of the Congress Party had dismissed this report immediately. On July 13, Former Congress leader Priyanka Chaturvedi called this report ‘an absolute lie & shameful spin by the newspaper’ on Twitter.
Interestingly, Historian S Irfan Habib tweeted on 13 July 2018 that he was present at the meeting as reported and no such issue was raised during the meeting.
It is noteworthy that the above claim has already gone viral in the form of a graphical image with the logo of ABP News, which was refuted in a tweet by the official Twitter account of ABP News on 12 November 2018. In the Tweet, ABP News stated:”It is to notify you that the attached media which is being circulated online has been doctored with our channel’s template. The information about Sh. Rahul Gandhi’s statements, which these images carry have not been reported by ABP & and have no relation with ABP News Network”.
It is clear from DFRAC’s Fact-Check that the above claim made through newspaper cutting is misleading since it is refuted by the individuals and leaders present at that meeting.