An eight-second video showing Finance Minister Janardan Sharma dancing zealously is going viral on Tiktok.
Those sharing the video claim that Sharma was seen dancing after he was acquitted in an alleged corruption scandal case. Newschecker’s investigation found the viral video to be old and unrelated to the case being talked about.
On July 31, CPN (Maoist Centre) leader Janardan Sharma was reappointed as Finance Minister after a parliamentary probe panel investigating the matter failed to find the evidence to support the allegations against Sharma. He had resigned on July 6 after he was accused of employing unauthorised persons to tweak tax rates on the eve of May 29, ahead of the fiscal budget speech.
After reports surfaced in the media alleging that some business representatives entered the Ministry of Finance on the eve of budget presentation to make changes in tax rates, parliamentarians, especially from the opposition party, demanded CCTV footage of the ministry premises. However, the minister denied any wrongdoing and said the footage had been automatically deleted. An 11-member parliamentary probe committee was formed to look into the alleged irregularities on July 6. However, the investigation panel could not come up with any evidence against Sharma. The failure to find the truth behind the alleged entry of unofficial persons into the Finance Ministry, despite having the surveillance camera installed, is being widely dubbed as a CCTV scandal.
In this context, TikTok user @bibhushanpoudel posted a video, showing visuals of Finance Minister Janardan Sharma dancing enthusiastically. Text superimposed on the video reads, “This is how [Minister Sharma expressed his happiness] after securing 100 out of 100 in the CCTV footage episode.”
The video posted on August 1 has garnered 3648 likes, 127 shares and 93 users 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 conducted a search on YouTube using keyword ‘Janardan Sharma dance’ which threw up several results.
We checked a video posted on the YouTube Channel GS Nepal, and found that its frames exactly matched the viral video. The video was posted on July 26, 2020.
On watching the video thoroughly, we noticed a banner hung behind the stage reading, “Broader Cultural Assembly, Rukum.” The banner also mentions that the event was organised by Rukum Art and Cultural Forum, West Rukum.”
Further, we found another video posted by Sharma on April 8, 2019 on Facebook from the same event that, according to the banner visible in the video, lasted three days. This video seems to have been captured from a different angle but we can observe many similarities in the banner that suggests that this was the same in the viral video.
This clearly indicated that the footage shows Sharma dancing in a cultural program organised in West Rukum district.
The video claiming to show Minister Sharma dancing exuberantly after being exonerated from the Finance Ministry CCTV scandal on the eve of budget speech actually shows him dancing in a cultural event in 2020.