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Fact Check: KP Oli Never Named Balendra Shah Or Rabi Lamichhane During His Interaction with Students

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
Former Prime Minister and CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli advocated for young leadership to steer the nation, leaving Balendra Shah and Rabi Lamichhane amazed.
Fact
Viral video actually shows KP Oli Sharma Oli during an interaction with students, and he has not made any reference to Balen Shah and Rabi Lamichhane.

A one-minute-49-second video allegedly showing Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) Chairman KP Sharma Oli advocating for a young leadership to steer the nation is going viral on TikTok. The viral video claims that he has amazed Rastriya Swatantra Party President Rabi Lamichhane and Kathmandu Metropolitan City Mayor Balendra Shah with his readiness to support for a young leadership.

TikTok user @yagyastha55_official posted a video showing former Prime Minister and CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli speaking at a programme. The video shows footage of Rashtriya Swatantra Party President Rabi Lamichhane attending a program, another footage shows mayor of Kathmandu Metropolitan City Balendra Shah at a programme with his deputy Sunita Dangol. Text superimposed on the video reads, “KP Oli surprised Rabi and Balendra with his roaring. We need young leaders to steer the nation, I am ready to support.”

In his speech, Oli says, “It is wrong to say that a person who doesn’t have any experience can take the country’s leadership. It is not possible. It is just like saying that a person who has never entered a water body can swim well. Just like it is wrong to say that a person who never set his foot into a football ground can play good football. You need experience for everything.” He goes on to say, “There is no doubt that you [young people] need to intervene. But you need to come up with a clear-cut ideology and mature party, along with a national campaign. Only then can we build the nation.”  

The video posted on September 17 has garnered 28.6k likes, 300 users have shared it and 1515 people have commented on it until the time of publishing this article.The archived version of the TikTok video can be seen here.

Newschecker found the claim to be misleading.

Fact Check /Verification

To check the authenticity of the claim made in the viral video, Newschecker closely watched the video and noticed a logo of Hulak Sanchar on the top right corner. Taking a clue from it, we searched YouTube and found a channel named Hulak Sanchar. On checking the channel, we found a video, dated 16 September 2023, whose frames exactly matched the viral video.  The video title reads, “KP Oli roared, leaving Rabi Lamichhane and Balen Shah stunned. We need young leaders to steer the nation, I am ready to support.”
Then, we checked the purported link to the article on the same speech. posted in the video description. But we found that the website named Hulaki.com doesn’t exist, raising doubts about the genuineness of the video.

So, we took a keyframe from the viral video and conducted a reverse search on it. The results pointed us towards an interaction of a programme titled ‘Ba Sanga Bidhyardhi [Students with Father]’ organised in Bhaktapur on September 16, 2023. On checking an article published on Chakrapath online, we found that the image carried in the article matched the frame from the viral video. According to the article, Oli admitted that he is not a capable leader but works with honesty. “Now the capable leaders should come from the young generation.”

We, then, checked another one hour 29 minutes and 44 seconds long video published on the YouTube channel named ‘Nepal News Bank’, and found that the video frames and audio from 11.8-minute timestamp exactly matched the viral video except for the footage showing RSP leader Rabi Lamichhane and KMC Mayor Balendra Shah.

So, we closely watched the clip showing Rabi Lamichane and Balendra Shah and took several keyframes. We conducted several reverse image searches on the frames showing Rabi Lamichhane and noticed the flags of Rashtriya Swatantra Party, clearly indicating that the footage was not from Oli’s interaction with the students. However, we couldn’t find the original footage used in the viral video.

Further, we observed the keyframes showing KMC Mayor Shah and his deputy Sunita Dangol attending a programme. In the background, we noticed Mahanagar Day 2079 BS. This indicated that the image was randomly used in the viral video. We took a clue from the background banner and conducted a search on YouTube and found a video, dated December 5, 2022, whose frames matched the viral video.

We also found a video of Oli’s interaction with students, which was moderated by Nepali Congress leader Bishwa Prakash Sharma’s daughter, published on the YouTube channel named Onlinetv Nepal. The video footage clearly showed that only young students from school and colleges were among the attendees in the interaction programme. Neither RSP Chairman Rabi Lamichhane nor Balendra Shah had attended the event where Oli answered various questions submitted by the students.  

Thus, our findings clearly showed that CPN-UML Chairman Oli said that new leadership should come from the students. He didn’t make any reference about RSP leader Rabi Lamichhane and Balen Shah at the event.

Conclusion

No, the viral video doesn’t show CPN-UML Chairman Oli stunning Rabi Lamichhane and Balen Shah with his speech, and that he was referring to young college students when he said the capable leaders should come from the young generation. The viral video is edited by using unrelated footage.

Result: False

Sources
Hulak Sanchar /Youtube , Sept 16, 2023
Chakrapath online, Sept 16, 2023
Nepal News Bank /Youtube, Sept 16, 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 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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