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HomeFact CheckFact Check: Viral Video Claiming Baburam Bhattarai Said RSP Chair Rabi Lamichhane...

Fact Check: Viral Video Claiming Baburam Bhattarai Said RSP Chair Rabi Lamichhane Will Be PM After 2027 Polls 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 essential today than ever before.

Claim
Former Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai said RSP will emerge victorious after 2027 general elections and RSP Chair Rabi will take govt leadership
Fact
Leader Bhattarai said that a new political force will emerge victorious but clearly said that he can’t specify the name of the new force

A video claiming that former Prime Minister and Chairman of Socialist Party of Nepal Baburam Bhattarai has said that the newly formed Rastriya Swatantra Party will emerge as the largest party in the general elections of 2027 and the party’s Chairman Rabi Lamichhane will become the prime minister of the country is going viral on TikTok. Newschecker found the claim to be misleading.

TikTok user @sunildhungana.uk posted a video showing former Prime Minister and Socialist Party Chairman Baburam Bhattarai speaking to the media. In the interview, Bhattarai is heard saying, “After the general elections of 2084 BS (2027 AD), a new political party will take the government leadership in Nepal. I would like to say thank you and congratulations.  Nepali politics has entered a new phase and we need new political parties with fresh political ideologies. I am one of those who has been crusading for it for the past 10 years. I am very happy that the Rastriya Swatantra Party has emerged as a major political force. There could be differences of opinion in a parliamentary democracy but Nepal is seeking a new political force. I wish all the best to this political party in achieving its success in taking this country on the path of progress and prosperity by standing on the foundation of a federal democratic republic. Text superimposed on the video reads, “Baburam is confident that bell [the election symbol of Rastriya Swatantra Party] will sweep the country in the general election of 2084 BS (2027 AD), and Rabi Lamichhane will become the prime minister. Hats off to Dr Baburam Bhattarai that you have demonstrated your intellectual opinion, after all you are highly educated person, we can change our country if we can change ourselves according to time.”  The archived version of the TikTok video can be seen here.

The video posted on June 23 has garnered 29.3k likes, 270 users have shared it and 18 people have commented until the last count.

Fact Check /Verification

To check the authenticity of the claim made in the viral video, Newschecker split the video into several keyframes and conducted reverse searches on them but the results didn’t match the viral video. So, we closely observed the video and noticed that leaders of Rastriya Swatantra Party were also seen alongside former PM Bhattarai on the video frame. The newly formed Rastriya Swatantra Party had organised a tea reception in Kathmandu on June 22 to mark the first anniversary of its establishment where leaders major political parties were invited as guests.

Taking it as a clue, we conducted a search on google by using relevant keywords and found a news article titled ‘Dr Bhattarai says new party will emerge to form government in 2084 BS’ published on Khabarhub.com. According to the article, leader Bhattarai, responding to media after attending the tea reception, underscored the need for a new political force in the country and that a new party would emerge to form the government. However, the article did not quote Bhatarai saying specifically that RSP will emerge as the largest political force and that the party’s Chairman Rabi Lamichhane would take the government leadership.

Further, we conducted a search on YouTube by using relevant Nepali Nepali keywords and found a video published in the YouTube Channel named Hulak Sanchar whose frames and the interview matched the viral video. On checking the video, we found that Dr Bhattarai’s interview for the first five seconds exactly matched the viral video. But we found that viral video was clipped from the video of Bhattarai’s response to the media after participating in the RSP’s programme. In his interview to the media persons, leader Bhattarai clearly says, “In the next general elections to be held in 2084 BS (2027 AD), a new political force will emerge to form a new government. But I can’t precisely say which party will win but a new party will take the government leadership.”

We found another similar video carrying leader Bhattarai’s interview after RSP’s tea reception published on the YouTube channel named Aajako Press. On checking the video thoroughly, we didn’t find leader Bhattarai saying that RSP will be the largest party in the next general election.

Conclusion

The viral video claiming that former Prime Minister and Socialist Party leader Baburam Bhattarai asserted that a Rastriya Swatantra Party will emerge victorious in the next general election and RSP Chair Rabi Lamichhane will take the government leadership is misleading.

Result: Partly False

Sources
Khabarhu.com, 22 June, 2023
Hulak Sanchar /YouTube, 22 June, 2023
Aajako Press /YouTube 23 June, 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 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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