A video claiming that newly appointed Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane challenged Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal after a fist fight at a meeting is being shared on social media. Newschecker found the claim to be false.
CPN (Maoist Center) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, known by his nom de guerre Prachanda, was appointed as the new Prime Minister on December 25 after seven political parties including the second largest Communist Party of Nepal (CPN-UML) and the newly formed Rastriya Swatantra Party led by Rabi Lamichhane supported him. The very next day, Dahal appointed Lamichhane as Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister.
In this context, TikTok user @hamroaawaj17 posted a video carrying an image of both Rabi Lamichhane and Pushpa Kamal Dahal pointing fingers at each other. The accompanying voice-over presented in a news bulletin style says, “Tussle between Prachanda and Rabi, the newly appointed Prime Minister and the Home Minister are in the race to appease the public. Rabi Lamichhane warns Prachanda not to interfere in his work.” Text superimposed on the video reads, “Rabi warned Prachanda after the duo had a fistfight in a meeting. The leaders had a heated exchange after Rabi warned to topple the government if he was interfered in his work.”
The video posted on January 3 has garnered 25.8k likes, 356 users have commented and 200 people have shared it until the last count.
Fact Check /Verification
To check the veracity of the claim made in the viral video, Newschecker searched for news regarding any serious disagreement between Home Minister Lamichhane and Pushpa Kamal Dahal by using relevant key words. However, we could not find such news in any reliable media.
Then we analysed the video and found that the video carries two different images—one showing a collage of multiple images and the other showing Home Minister Lamichhane and Dahal pointing their fingers. We took a keyframe from the first image and conducted a reverse search. But the search didn’t throw up any relevant results.
Further, we searched for images by using keyword ‘Rabi Lamichhane Angry’ and found an image exactly matching the frame from the viral video. The image is carried by a news article published Nepalipost.com online. The article published in the online on November 13, 2022 was about Rastriya Swatantra Party’s accusation that the cadres of the then ruling alliance attacked a vehicle of Rabi Lamichhane’s election campaign at Kurintar in Chitwan.
Taking it as a clue, we searched for news articles about the attack on Rabi Lamichhane’s election campaign vehicle ahead of the November 20 polls and found another article about the incident carrying a similar image published in Nepalpress.com. Though Lamichhane is not seen pointing finger at anyone in the article, the dress he is wearing and the background of the image with a police officer standing next to him obviously indicate that the pictures are from the same place. However, we couldn’t find the image of Prachanda used in the image.
Our findings clearly indicate that there had not been any fistfight or disagreement between Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane and Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal as claimed in the viral video.
The viral video claiming that Home Minister Lamichhane had a fistfight with Prime Minister Dahal carries an edited image, and thus is false.