As Nepal’s political parties and independent candidates contesting in the parliamentary and provincial elections slated for November 20 have been intensifying their election campaigns, a video of Nepali Congress (NC) General Secretary Gagan Thapa allegedly saying that Nepali Congress is not the party of poor people but of rich and affluent class is going viral among Nepali social media users. Newschecker found the viral video is clipped.
Thapa is contesting the election for a seat in the federal House of Representatives from Kathmandu constituency-4.
In this context, TikTok user @milanrai5034 posted a 12-second video clip in which Nepali Congress leader Gagan Thapa is heard saying, “Congress is not the party of poor people, Congress is the party of rich and affluent class, Congress is not the party of landless squatters, Congress is the party of the people owning land.” Text superimposed on the video reads, “Congress is not the party of poor people: Gagan Thapa.” The video caption reads, “Try to understand the true character of Congress.”
The video posted on November 6 has garnered 6052 likes, and 883 users have shared it and 1000 people have commented on it until the last count.
Similarly, Facebook user Devendra Kuinkel shared the same video clip with the text superimposed on it reading, “Listen from Congress General Secretary Gagan Thapa himself who the Nepali Congress party represents.” Another text attributed to Thapa reads, “Congress is not the party of landless squatters, Congress is the party of affluent people owning land, horses and vehicles.”
The video was first shared on October 28 on Facebook campaign page of Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) leader Padma Aryal, who is contesting for a seat in the federal House of Representatives from Syangja district constituency-2. The video has garnered 87k views, 1.7k users have shared it and 98 people have commented on it.
Fact Check /Verification
To check the authenticity of the claim made in the viral video, Newschecker closely observed the video and noticed a logo of Makalu Khabar on the top right corner of the video.
Taking it as a clue, we searched the YouTube channel of Makalu Khabar and found a video of Nepali Congress leader Gagan Thapa published on October 26. On watching the video titled ‘Gagan Thapa says a rumour is doing the rounds that I said Nepali Congress is not the party of poor and landless squatters’, we found that Thapa is actually giving clarification on the rumour of him.
In the video, Thapa says, “Friends, please do not be misled by any kind of rumours. What I have often been saying is that If I ever get a chance to lead the Nepali Congress party, I will erase the identity of Nepali Congress as a party of poor and landless squatters.” He goes on to say, “Nepali Congress is not the party of poor people, Congress is not the party of landless squatters, Congress is the party of affluent people owning land, horses and vehicles. Therefore, what the party of affluent people does is always try to make its people rich. The party owning enough land provides the landless squatters with land ownership certificates. Why? Because, if we give them land certificates, they become land owning people and they become loyal to congress. That’s what I used to say. But some of the lines from the statement have disappeared ahead of the election. Rumormongers are spreading misinformation by sharing a chopped video of my statement.”
The video clearly indicates that the viral video is clipped and shared out of context.
Viral video of Nepali Congress General Secretary Gagan Thapa making aware about the rumours doing rounds of him saying Nepali Congress is not the poor people’s party is shared with a missing context. Leader Thapa was actually speaking about how his clipped speech is being circulated and telling the people to not fall for the rumour.