An image has been shared multiple times on social media alongside the claim it shows Indian Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi dining with his Pakistani counterpart, Imran Khan.
The claim is false as PM Imran’s photo has been doctored to make it appear as though Modi is sitting beside him, reported AFP Fact Check, a blog that focuses on fact-checking in response to the multiplication of disinformation online.
The post’s Hindi language caption translates to English as: “The one with the green cap looks a little familiar.”
Meanwhile, another picture breaking the internet showed Indian National Congress chief Rahul Gandhi in Modi’s place.
The Hindi language caption of that image translates to English as: “Who is this eating chicken biryani beside Miya Imran? Now the people will judge. This is Pappu’s condition.”
Miya is an honorific for Muslim males, while Rahul Gandhi is often referred to as “Pappu” – which means “fool” or “simpleton” in Hindi – by supporters of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
A reverse image search on Google found the image was doctored from this photo, which was posted on Twitter on July 5, 2015. The photo shows PM Imran dining with his then-wife Reham Khan.
Modi’s BJP has been accusing the Congress of playing for Pakistan. It has even claimed that Islamabad “wants to fix the polling results in favour of Congress”.
Things, however, took an unexpected turn after PM Imran said there was better chance of peace between the neighbouring countries if hardliner BJP was elected to power.
The statement was not very well received by a majority of people right before the general polls in world’s largest democracy. Congress said Pakistan had “now officially allied” with Modi and voting for him was “a vote for Imran Khan”.
Seeking votes in national defence’s name and aggression towards Pakistan ahead of elections is not new to Indian politicians. The outcome of the 2019 general polls will also give a verdict on Modi’s hyper-Hindu nationalism that raised his nationalist BJP to power in 2014.