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Fact Check: Viral Video Allegedly Showing PM Dahal Making Bad Remarks About The Country Is Clipped

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
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal made irresponsible remarks about the country and constitution
Fact
2021 interview of Dahal shared without giving the context

A five-second video purporting to show Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ making irresponsible remarks about the country, constitution, federalism, republic, and secularism, is going viral on TikTok. Newschecker found the claim to be misleading.

TikTok user @kapilkhadka_k.d posted a video showing Prime Minister and Chairman of Communist Party of Nepal CPN (Maoist Centre) Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ speaking. In the video, PM Dahal is heard saying, “Let the country go to hell, let the constitution, federalism republic and secularism go to hell.” Text superimposed on the video reads, “Prachanda speaking about the country. Prime Minister Prachanda is worried about the country and the constitution. Do you understand where the prime minister is sending the country?”  The archived version of the TikTok video can be seen here.

The video posted on April 16 has garnered 4232 likes, 470 users have shared it and 667 people have commented on it until the time of publishing this article.

Another TikTok user @deepakdhakal742 posted a video showing Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal speaking with the same audio. Text superimposed on the video reading “Nepal is lucky to have a prime minister like him [Dahal]” is laced with sarcasm. The archived version of the TikTok video can be seen here.

The video posted on April 14 has garnered 17.6k likes, and 2006 users have shared it until the last count. We found that the same audio has been used to create more than 20 TikTok videos.

Fact Check /Verification

To check the veracity of the claim made in the viral video, Newschecker took a keyframe from the first viral video and conducted a reverse search which led us to a video whose frame exactly matched the viral video. The video published on the YouTube channel of NepalPress on 23 December 2021 showed Pushpa Kamal Dahal speaking about the capital market and how the investors are investing in the non-productive sector of the country. However, Dahal didn’t mention anything about the country, constitution, federalism and secularism as claimed by the viral video.

Further, we took another keyframe from the second video and conducted a reverse image search which led us to a news article titled ‘Prachanda ready to accept Sher Bahadur Deuba as Prime Minister’ published on Onlinekhabar.com in January 2021. On reading the article thoroughly, we found that the article was written based on an interview aired on Prime Times HD Television. The image carried in the article matched the frame from the viral video.

Taking a clue from the article, we conducted a search on YouTube by using keywords ‘Prime Times Interview Prachanda’ and found a video of Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s interview by journalist Rishi Dhamala. On checking the video published on the channel on 19 January 2021, we found that the frames of the video closely matched the second viral video. So, we listened to the video by fast-forwarding and found Dahal’s audio and video frame from 1 hour 4.55 minute onwards exactly matched the viral video and the audio. We found that Dahal was speaking about the reinstatement of parliament after the Chairman of Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) KP Sharma Oli dissolved the parliament. Dahal was actually referring to KP Sharma Oli, who he said is pushing the country to revert back to conflict. “Does anybody want anarchy and derailment of the peace process? I think KP Oli wants to see that. In my opinion, KP wants to see the country go to hell, the constitution, federalism republic and secularism go to hell.”

Our findings reveal that the interview was two years old and Pushpa Kamal Dahal was taking a swipe at KP Sharma Oli for his move to dissolve the parliament and announce midterm elections.  The viral interview clip was shared without context.

Conclusion

The viral video claiming that Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal made irresponsible remarks about the country, constitution, and secularism lacks the context, and thus is misleading.

Result: Missing Context

Sources
NepaliPress /YouTube, 23 December 2021
Onlinekhabar.com, 20 January 2021
Prime Times HD /YouTube, 19 January 2021

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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