At a time when the citizenship controversy of Rastriya Swatantra Party President Rabi Lamichhane has drawn national attention, a video claiming that Rabi Lamichhane is all set to be reappointed as the Home Minister has gone viral on TikTok. Newschecker found the claim shared with a missing context.
Lamichhane, a popular TV anchor-turned-politician, had become the Home Minister only six months after he launched the Rastriya Swatantra Party (SWP). His party had emerged as the fourth largest in the November 20 elections. However, Lamichhane lost the post of lawmaker and the Home Minister on January 27 after the Supreme Court ruled that Lamichhane had not acquired a valid citizenship after he renounced the United States citizenship.
TikTok user @bijokxhomero posted a video showing Rabi Lamichhane climbing onto a stage and bowing, touching the stage with his forehead. Text superimposed on the video reads, “Once again Rabi Lamichhane is going to be the Home Minister”.
The video posted on January 29 has garnered 227.6k likes, 1530 users have shared it and 5974 people have commented on it until the time of publishing this article.
Fact Check /Verification
To check the authenticity of the claim made in the viral video, Newschecker searched for the latest news regarding the appointment of new Home Minister after Rabi Lamichhane resigned from the post after the apex court invalidated his citizenship certificate. However, Lamichhane reacquired his citizenship on January 29.
According to reports published in major online and dailies, RSP President Lamichhane has been demanding that he be reinstated as home minister after he acquired Nepali citizenship and threatening to quit the government if he is not given the portfolio back. However, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has decided not to give the portfolio to Lamichhane according to an article published in The Kathmandu Post online.
However, legal eagles are arguing that Rabi may face a criminal investigation for his alleged involvement in obtaining a Nepali passport in 2015 through his old documents despite having a US citizenship in 2014. Setopati.com online has quoted constitutional expert Bhimarjun Acharya that Lamichhane had already lost moral grounds as he became home minister despite the controversy about citizenship and passport. The state must now resume the investigation into his passport.
On digging further, we found a news article published in Setopati.com which confirmed that Lamichhane’s party on Friday (February 3) decided not to quit the government after the coalition partners—Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli—asked the party to wait for two more days.
Further, we conducted a search on YouTube by using relevant keywords and found a video published on the YouTube Channel of Raftar Online Tv whose context and background matched the viral video. In the video, we can clearly notice that Lamichhane, donning a black dress, arrives on a stage with a blue background and he bows and touches down the stage with his forehead. The background of the stage also resembles the viral video. The video published on June 21 actually shows the programme to announce the Rastriya Swatantra Party under Lamichhane’s leadership.
Our findings reveal that it has not been certain whether Rabi Lamichhane will be re-appointed to the post of Home Minister again.
Old video of Rabi Lamichhane captured during a programme to announce his new political party in June 2022 has resurfaced with a false claim.
Result: Missing Context
Dahal in no mood to give Home Ministry to Rastriya Swatantra Party, The Kathmandu Post, February 1, 2022
State must resume probe against Lamichhane: Bhimarjun Acharya, Seto Pati, Jan 27, 2022
Raftar Online Tv, June 21, 2022
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