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Fact Check: Rabi Lamichhane Joining the Maoists? No, Viral Video Is Shared Out of Context

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 essential today than ever before.

Claim
Rastriya Swatantra Party Chairperson Rabi Lamichhane praises Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’.
Fact
No, viral video is taken out of context from Rabi Lamichhane’s TV show ‘Sidha Kura Janta Sanga’.

A 28-second video allegedly showing Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP) Chairman Rabi Lamichhane praising Chairman of CPN (Maoist Centre) Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who is also the incumbent Prime Minister, is going viral on TikTok.

TikTok user @kc.comnepal posted a video showing RSP leader Lamichhane praising Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’. The video goes on to claim that Lamichhane is likely to join the Maoists. In the video Rabi says, “The one who didn’t fear the king, didn’t bow down even when he had a price tag on his head, doesn’t tolerate injustice, eradicates oppressors, uproots discrimination, speaks out strongly against injustices and is the messiah of the poor and the underprivileged class, the destiny-maker of homeless and those who can’t afford two-meal a day, a pillar of support for workers, labourers, farmers and the entire poor community, Prachanda, are you the same person?”

The video posted on February 5 has garnered 71 likes, two users have shared it two others commented until the time of writing this article.

The archived version of the TikTok video can be seen here.

Newschecker found the claim to be misleading.

Fact Check /Verification

To check the veracity of the claim made in the viral video, Newschecker split the video into several keyframes and ran reverse searches on them. However, the results didn’t yield any relevant results. We, then, conducted a keyword search on YouTube by using relevant keywords and found a video, dated 28 July, 2020, posted on the YouTube channel named Prajwal Subdei. On checking the video, we found that the video clip from 2.37-minute onwards exactly matched the viral clip.

The video also gave us the clue that it was taken from the popular TV show named ‘Sidha Kura Janta Sanga’ hosted by Rabi Lamichhane aired on News 24 Television prior to joining politics. Taking a clue from the video, we conducted a thorough search on the YouTube channel of News 24 Television and found the original video published on July 23, 2020. We checked the video and found that the video clip from 2.57-minute onwards exactly matched the viral video. We found that the viral clip was taken from the TV Show conducted by Rabi Lamichhane aired on News 24.

On listening to a longer version of the original, we found that Rabi Lamichhane, speaking from Prachanda’s home town Chitwan, was not actually praising Prachanda but he was only recalling the political path trodden by leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal and how he failed to live up to his political ideals.

Thus, our findings show that viral video is taken out of context to make a misleading claim.

Conclusion

No, the viral video doesn’t show Rastriya Swatantra Party Chairperson Rabi Lamichhane praising Prime Minister Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal. The video clip is old, and actually c

Result: Missing Context

Sources
Prajwal Subedi /YouTube, 28 July, 2020
News 24 TV/Youtube, 23 July, 2020


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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 essential today than ever before.

Sanjeeb Phuyal
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 essential today than ever before.

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