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Fact Check: PM Modi Said He Would Start His Election Campaign By Visiting Pashupatitnath Temple? No, Viral Video Is Old

Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become more essential today than ever before.

Claim
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he would start his election campaign by visiting Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu.
Fact
No, viral video is from 2022 when Modi visited the birthplace of Lord Buddha in Lumbini.

India is in the middle of Parliamentary elections. The seven-phase-election which began on April 19 will be over on June 4. Amid these a video on Tiktok has gone viral claiming that India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he would start his election campaign by visiting Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu.

Against this backdrop, TikTok user @sansarpoon posted a video showing India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivering a speech in Nepali language. Text superimposed on the video reads, “Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is arriving on a visit to Nepal. A team from Delhi has returned from Kathmandu after inspecting. He will initiate his election campaign only after offering prayer at Pashupatinath temple.” In his speech in Nepali, Modi says, “When I visit Nepal I have a different spiritual feeling. On the holy occasion of Buddha Jayanti [birthday of Lord Buddha], I extend my best wishes to all Nepali people and devotees from across the world from this holy land of Lumbini.”

The video posted on February 2 has garnered 5579 likes, 205 users have liked it and 117 people have commented on it.

Newschecker investigation found the claim to be a rumour.

Fact Check /Verification

To check the authenticity of the claim made in the viral video, Newschecker took a clue from his speech and conducted a search on YouTube by using relevant keywords and found a video, dated May 16, 2022, published on the YouTube channel named Narendra Modi. On checking the video, we found that the video from the 5.18-minute timestamp onwards exactly matched the viral video.

The video descriptions noted that Prime Minister Modi, while attending Buddha Purnima celebration in Lumbini, said growing friendship between Nepal and India will work for the benefit of entire humanity.

Further, we looked for articles if Prime Minister Modi ever announced that he would launch the campaign for the 2024 Lok Sabha election by visiting Pashupatinath temple. We found an article, dated February 2, 2024 published on Navbharat Times online, which quoted several sources in Nepal and India who said that Prime Minister Modi is likely to visit Nepal before the Lok Sabha poll. However, the article clearly stated that the government source didn’t confirm about Prime Minister Modi’s “planned visit” to Pashupatinath Temple.

We found an article, dated June 1, 2023, published on Print online which confirmed that Nepal’s Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal had extended an invitation to his Indian counterpart to visit Nepal.

Prime Minister Modi hasn’t visited Pashupatinath Temple as of now and he had already launched his election campaign.

Conclusion

The viral video claiming that Indian Prime Minister Modi is arriving in Kathmandu before launching his election campaign is misleading. The viral video shows an old clip of Modi’s speech during his visit to Lumbini on the occasion of Buddha Jayanti in 2022.  

Result: Missing Context

Sources
Narendra Modi/YouTube, May 16, 2022
Navbharat Times, Feb 2, 2024
The Print, June 1, 2023


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Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become more essential today than ever before.

Sanjeeb Phuyal
Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become more essential today than ever before.

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