A video showing Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot talking about Waris Punjab De (WPD) chief Amritpal Singh is going viral with a claim that Gehlot is supporting Singh's separatist Khalistan movement.
The video shows Gehlot speaking in Hindi, "Amritpal Singh is saying that if they are talking about Hindu nation, then why I can't talk about Khalistan? Isn't he justified?"
Who shared the video?: Along with several social media users, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Delhi Vice President Sunil Yadav also shared the viral video to claim that to gain votes, the Congress party has started supporting 'Khalistanis who had killed Indira Gandhi'.
(Note: Swipe to view more screenshots of the claim.)
An archive can be seen here.
An archive can be seen here.
Did Gehlot really show support to Singh?: The claim is misleading and this is a clipped video.
The original video shows Gehlot speaking at Rajasthan's Bharatpur, where he points out Singh's demands as 'dangerous'.
He also blames BJP's ideology of a 'Hindu nation' for encouraging Singh.
How did we find out the truth?: We performed a keyword search and came across a report shared by Dainik Bhaskar which carried the original version of the viral video.
The article's title said, "Modi talks about Hindu nation, that's why Amritpal got courage" [to demand for Khalistan].
The report stated that Gehlot targeted the BJP and their ideology of a 'Hindu nation'.
It added that Gehlot made these remarks at the Divisional level Worker's Conference at Bharatpur on 31 March.
It also carried a longer version of the video. At 0:17 timestamp, Gehlot says, "I felt very sad when I heard that Amritpal Singh is saying that if they are talking about Hindu nation, then why I cannot talk about Khalistan? What an accurate thing he has said! This is very dangerous for our country. For the first time in history, someone has said that why can't he talk openly if they (BJP) get to talk about the Hindu nation? Then people from the Southern part will start saying the same thing. Southern states had raised the same voice 40-50 years before, but the new generation does not know about it. We should think about the future of this country. We should worry about the country's future."
The report by India Today from 31 March stated that Gehlot blamed the “Hindu Rashtra” ideology, allegedly professed by the BJP, for the rise of separatists like Singh.
We also found Asian News International’s (ANI) tweet from 1 April, which carried a different video of Gehlot where he talks about how India should maintain secularism.
In the video, Gehlot addresses the crowd and says, "Amritpal Singh says that if Mohan Bhagwat and Narendra Modi can talk about a 'Hindu nation', then why should I not talk about Khalistan? Look at his courage. Why has he got such courage? Why are people talking about a 'Hindu nation'? It is easy to please people in the name of religion. It is easy to start a fire, but it takes time to extinguish it."
Conclusion: A clipped video is going viral with a misleading claim about Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot supporting WPD chief Amritpal Singh.
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