Cong MP Makes False Claims About Shah Sitting on Tagore’s Chair
In his Lok Sabha speech, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury made false claims around the visits of Amit Shah and JP Nadda to WB.
Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury while addressing the Lok Sabha on 8 February claimed that Union Home Minister Amit Shah, during his visit to West Bengal in December sat on Rabindranath Tagore’s chair at Rabindra Bhavan in Shantiniketan. The Congress parliamentarian also alleged that Home Minister Shah and Bharatiya Janata Party President JP Nadda referred to Shantiniketan as Tagore’s birthplace.
However, both of Chowdhury’s claims fall flat, as we found that neither did Amit Shah sit on Tagore’s chair nor did Shah or Nadda refer to Shantiniketan as the nobel laureate’s birthplace.
What Did Chowdhury Say?
Speaking in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury while referring to Amit Shah’s visit to Bengal in December 2020 said that BJP leaders visited West Bengal and became a laughing stock because of their lack of awareness of details related to Rabindranath Tagore.
“BJP politicians Amit Shah and JP Nadda visit Shantiniketan ahead of elections and claim that Thakur Rabindranath was born here. They should read up a bit because people in Bengal are laughing at them. On top of that, our Amit Shah goes and sits on Rabindranath Tagore’s chair. This is an insult.”Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Congress MP
This part of his speech can be heard in 21 minutes and 25 seconds into the video.
(Click here to listen to his full speech.)
But, What’s The Truth?
Union Home Minister Amit Shah went on a two-day visit to West Bengal and visited the Viswa Bharti University at Shantiniketan where he paid tributes to Rabindranath Tagore. We found several news reports, which carried images from Shah’s visit.
In an image used by The Statesman, Amit Shah can be seen sitting on a platform near a window. It was this image that was shared on social media in December to claim that the Home Minister sat on Tagore’s chair.
We searched Google with “Rabindranath Tagore’s Chair at Shantiniketan” and found a report by The Telegraph from 2015, which carried an image of Rabindranath Tagore’s chair that didn’t resemble the platform on which Amit Shah can be seen sitting.
Further, we were able to access a letter by Viswa Bharti University addressed to Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury where the Vice Chancellor of the university had clarified that the seat on which Amit Shah was sitting is not the chair of Rabindranath Tagore, but a makeshift seat previously also occupied by several dignitaries including Jawaharlal Nehru, Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina.
We found an image of Sheikh Hasina sitting on the same platform in a report from 2018 published by a Bangladeshi Daily.
Clearly, Home Minister Amit Shah did not sit in the chair of nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore at Shantiniketan.
Coming to Chowdhury’s second allegation that Shah and Nadda referred to Shantiniketan as the birthplace of Tagore, we went back to JP Nadda’s speech in West Bengal delivered on 9 December 2020 where he said, “West Bengal is known for the exchange of ideas. Visva Bharati is here, Rabindranath Tagore was born here, we know how Tagore enlightened this society.”
However, West Bengal BJP misquoted Nadda on Twitter and the deleted tweet was then picked by the Trinamool Congress (TMC).
This claim was then debunked by fact-checking website Boomlive.
Evidently, both the claims made by Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury in the parliament were false.
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