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Fact Check: RSP President Lamichhane And Leader Wagle Appointed Ministers? No, Viral Video Is False

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
Rastriya Swatantra Party President Rabi Lamichhane appointed Home Minister and economist Swornim Wagle appointed Finance Minister
Fact
Rastriya Swatantra Party on Friday (May 5) decided to withdraw its support to the government and stay in the opposition bench

A video claiming that Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP) President Rabi Lamichhane and another leader of the party Swarnim Wagle have been appointed Home Minister and Finance Minister respectively has been going viral on TikTok. Newschecker found the claim to be misleading.

Rabi Lamichhane and Swarnim Wagle had been elected as members of the House of Representatives in the by-elections held on April 23. Earlier in January, Lamichhane had resigned as Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister after the Supreme Court found him guilty of not producing a valid citizenship certificate to contest the parliamentary elections in November 2022. Senior economist and a former Vice Chairman of National Planning Commission, Wagle was an aspirant from Nepali Congress in the November elections but he was denied an election ticket. Less than three weeks before the by-elections in three constituencies, Wagle quit the Nepali Congress and joined the newly formed Rastriya Swatantra Party.

Against this backdrop, TikTok user @gopalbhandari163 posted a video showing images of RSP President Rabi Lamichhane and Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal. Audio accompanying the video presented in a news bulletin style says, “Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ appointed Rabi Lamichhane as Home Minister and Dr Swarnim Wagle as Finance Minister.” The short clip follows a person appealing to share the video as much as possible. The man says, “Guys here is good news, Rastriya Swatantra Party has decided to join the government and Prime Minister Dahal has agreed to appoint Rabi Lamichhane as Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister and Swarnim Wagle as Finance Minister. I have heard that Nepali Congress will quit the government following the agreement. We don’t care whatever the Nepali Congress does but the people’s aspiration is to open the corruption file and prosecute the corrupt politicians, Jaya Nepal.” Text superimposed on the first part of the video reads, “Here is great news! Rabi and Swarnim to be appointed as Home Minister and Finance Minister. Congratulations to Finance Minister Swarnim Wagle and Home Minister Rabi.” The archived version of the TikTok video can be seen here.

The video posted on May 5 has garnered 10.5 likes, 336 users have shared it until the last count.

Fact Check /Verification

To check the authenticity of the claim made in the viral video, Newschecker searched for the latest position of the Rastriya Swatantra Party regarding joining the coalition government led by CPN (Maoist Centre). We found a news article titled ‘Swatantra Party to withdraw support to the government’ published in The Kathmandu Post online. According to the article, a joint meeting of the Rastriya Swatantra Party’s central committee and the parliamentary party on Friday [May 5] decided to pull its support to the Dahal-led government.

Further, we conducted a search on YouTube by using relevant keywords and found a video published on the YouTube channel of Setopati.com online. In the video from the press meet of the party, RSP President Rabi Lamichhane makes public the party’s decision, “We have decided to withdraw our support to the government and stay in the opposition bench.”

Members of the general public were keenly waiting for the party’s decision whether or not it will join the government after the recent victories of Lamichhane from Chitwan-2 and Wagle from Tanahun-1. Thus, our findings show that Rastriya Swatantra Party has decided to withdraw its support to the government and stay in the opposition bench.

Conclusion

Theclaimthat Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has appointed RSP President Rabi Lamichhane as Home Minister and another RSP leader Swarnim Wagle as Finance Minister is misleading as the party has officially decided to pull out its support to the government and stay in the opposition bench.

Result: False

Sources
The Kathmandu Post, 5 May, 2023
Setopati.com /YouTube, 5 May, 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
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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