The claim comes shortly after leaders of the NCP had shared a photograph Shrikant Shinde, son of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde sitting in a chair meant for his father. Shrikant had, however, claimed that the photograph was taken at their residence.
But Sule's photograph was a morphed one.
The photograph of former cabinet minister Rajesh Tope sitting inside the Maharashtra Assembly was morphed with a photograph of Sule. We found that the same photograph was also shared in 2021 by adding the photograph of Congress leader Nana Patole.
The photograph was shared by Sheetal Mhatre, who is the spokesperson of the Shinde-led Sena faction. In the caption, Mhatre said, “Look who is sitting on the chief minister’s chair.”
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
We conducted a reverse image search of the viral image but could not find any results with the same image. We then cropped individuals in the picture and conducted a reverse image search on Google and found Sule's photograph on her Facebook profile.
The image of hers in the viral post was taken from her Facebook profile photo's album, which was published on 17 January 2021.
We also found other photographs of Sule in the same saree from that day when she was on a trip to Aurangabad.
While going through the reverse image search results, we came across a version of the viral image posted on 27 November 2021. However, this version of the photograph had Congress leader Nana Patole sitting on the CM's chair. We found that that image was also a doctored image.
After Mhatre shared Sule's doctored photo, leaders of NCP and Congress have shared the original photograph which had an empty CM's chair.
Aditi Nalawade, an NCP functionary and close aide of Supriya Sule, posted other photographs from the day the original image was taken and added that the original photograph showed Walse Patil and Tope had attending a virtual meeting of COVID management from Mantralaya, while former CM Uddhav Thackeray participated from Varsha, the official residence.
We found news reports about the meeting being held on 27 November 2021, the day the first edited image was posted.
She also posted a photograph of a complaint filed by the NCP against Mhatre.
Evidently, a doctored image of NCP leader Supriya Sule was shared to mock the party.
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