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Did Asle Toje Say PM Modi Is Chief Contender for Nobel Peace Prize?

We found no evidence to support the claim that Asle Toje said PM Modi is the chief contender for Nobel Peace Prize.

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WebQoof
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A picture of Asle Toje, vice-chair of the 2022 Norwegian Nobel Committee, is being shared with a claim that he said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the chief contender for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Who all shared it?: Several media organisations such as The Economic Times, Times of India, Times Now, and English Jagran have shared the claim.

  • Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh's mouthpiece - Panchjanya, and right-wing propaganda website - OpIndia - have also shared it.

(Swipe right to view all the screenshots.)

  • An archive of the article can be seen here.

    (Source: The Economic Times/Screenshot)

What is the truth?: While Toje did applaud PM Modi's efforts towards establishing peace, we did not find any evidence of Toje mentioning PM Modi as the chief contender for the Nobel Peace Prize.

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The context: Toje, among other guests, were invited to speak at a roundtable discussion session which was titled, "Alternative Development Model & Peace." It took place on 14 March and was organised by India Center Foundation.

What about his speech?: In his speech, which is available on YouTube, Toje mentioned that it's never really a good time to work on peace.

  • Referring to a fellow guest's presentation, he said that it highlighted the challenges we are facing today - economic and environmental crisis and the return of destructive wars.

  • He emphasised that this is the time to speak on peace.

  • Toje mentioned that being a member of the Norwegian Nobel committee is an honour and it's a tough job.

  • He said, "For me, coming to India is a learning experience. I come to India to learn, to learn about the peace traditions of the country and to learn from the energy that determines a country on this rise."

  • "India is on the move. India is a country that is becoming increasingly important in world politics. It's a country that now must decide what sort of great power does it want to be," he added.

What about other interviews?: In an interview with ABP News, Toje mentioned that he cannot disclose any nominations as he is bound by secrecy. However, he also mentioned that the committee is getting more Indian nominations.

  • At around the 3:59 mark, Toje can be heard saying, "You're asking whether he [PM Modi] is a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize."

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  • While he did not answer the question, he said, "The thing is I have the same answer to anybody. My answer is that I hope that every leader of every nation will be inspired to do the work that is necessary to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize."I hope that for President Modi (sic)."

  • "Obviously, I'm following his efforts and we all are. I really hope his initiatives will come to fruition," he added.

While speaking to ANI, Toje praised PM Modi's statement when he said, "This is not the era of war."

  • Toje expressed his concern over the Ukraine-Russia war.

  • He complimented India's stand on the war and said that the country made its point in a friendly manner.

  • He further said, "I am not in India as Deputy leader of the Norwegian Nobel Committee; I am here as a Director of International peace and understanding and as a friend of India."

Can Nobel committee members reveal names?: According to the official website of The Nobel Prize, "Neither the names of nominators nor of nominees for the Nobel Peace Prize may be divulged until 50 years have elapsed."

We found no evidence to support the claim that Asle Toje said PM Modi is the chief contender for Nobel Peace Prize.

The website mentions that the names of the nominators and nominees cannot be revealed for 50 years.

(Source: The Nobel Prize website/Screenshot/Altered by The Quint)

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We have also reached out to Toje for his comments and inputs, and the story will be updated as and when it is received.

Conclusion: There is no conclusive evidence to prove that Asle Toje said PM Modi is the chief contender for the Nobel Peace Prize.

(With inputs from Aishwarya Varma.)

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at webqoof@thequint.com, and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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Topics:  Fact Check   Nobel Peace Prize   Webqoof 

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