A video showing Samajwadi Party (SP) MLA Rajesh Yadav speaking at a gathering is being shared on social media platforms. In the video, Yadav is heard saying that if their party comes to power in Uttar Pradesh, Thakurs and Pandits will be chased and thrashed in the state.
The claim comes as Uttar Pradesh completes its second phase of polling for the state's Assembly elections.
But we found that the video had been edited. A part of the video has been placed before his statement on "thrashing hooligans" to project that he was speaking against Thakurs and Pandits.
Speaking to The Quint, Rajesh Yadav said that he didn't speak against any community but against those had worsened the state of the poor people in Uttar Pradesh.
The video is being shared with a claim in Hindi, which reads –
"सपा प्रत्याशी राजेश यादव कह रहे हैं कि अखिलेश की सरकार आने पर ब्राह्मणों-ठाकुरों को दौड़ा-दौड़ाकर मारेंगे।"
[Translation: SP candidate Rajesh Yadav is saying that if Akhilesh comes into power, they will brutally thrash Brahmins and Thakurs.]
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
Using the keywords 'Rajesh Yadav Samajwadi Party' in Hindi, we looked for Yadav's social media profiles. On Facebook, we came across a group named 'Rajesh Yadav MLA (Katra)'.
On this group, we saw that a user 'Mukarram Hayat' had posted a video of the MLA.
Here, Yadav clarified that the video was edited and shared by some people to show that he took part in "religious politics," after seeing that he was favoured in the area. He also added that he had registered complaints with the police as well as the Election Commission (EC).
We went through Hayat's profile for look for information or statements from Yadav, and found a longer version of Rajesh Yadav's video that was being shared as the claim.
At the 53 seconds mark, we can hear Yadav speaking about people in parts of Shahjahanpur who might be trouble due to hooliganism.
Addressing the people around him, he promises them that if the Samajwadi Party comes to power, such people, who have made living difficult for people, will be chased onto the streets by SP workers and thrashed.
He goes on to speak about how the SP does not believe in hooliganism and respects people from all walks of life. "We have never called people Pandits "pandita" and Thakurs "Thakurta", all have their own kind of respect," he says, assuring that the party will take care of the poor.
In the viral clip, this part has been edited and placed before the part where he speaks about thrashing people who have made life difficult for others.
SHAHJAHANPUR POLICE TAKES COGNISANCE
We also saw a tweet by Shahjahanpur Police under one of the claims, where they had responded saying that a case had been registered at the Sadar Bazar police station for "editing the video and misleading people."
The Quint reached out the Rajesh Yadav, who confirmed to us that the video had been edited to make it seem like he had spoken against certain communities.
"I have not called anyone any names. I said that the people that have worsened the state of the poor and have destroyed their lives will be chased and beaten by us."Rajesh Yadav, Samajwadi Party candidate from Katra, Uttar Pradesh
Clearly, an edited video of Samajwadi Party MLA Rajesh Yadav speaking at a gathering at Shahjahanpur is being shared to claim that Yadav made provocative comments against certain communities in Uttar Pradesh.