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Viral Photo of AIMIM's Asaduddin Owaisi and RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat Is Edited

The original photograph of Mohan Bhagwat was with SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav.

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WebQoof
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Viral Photo of AIMIM's Asaduddin Owaisi and RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat Is Edited
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A photograph showing All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) President Asaduddin Owaisi sitting next to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Chief Mohan Bhagwat has gone viral to claim that the two are working together for the upcoming Assembly elections.

However, we found that the image was digitally altered to create a false narrative. In the original image, taken in 2021, Bhagwat was sitting next to Samajwadi Party (SP) founder Mulayam Singh Yadav. Owaisi's photograph was taken from a 2017 meeting of the AIMIM leader with British Deputy High Commissioner to Telangana Dr Andrew Fleming.

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CLAIM

Those who shared the photo claimed that Owaisi and Bhagwat had been working together to defeat the BJP's opponents. In the photo, Bhagwat can be seen shaking hands of BJP MP Arjun Ram Meghwal.

"कहा कहा प्रत्याशी उतारना है, भाजपा विरोधियों को हराने आ उसको लेकर मोहन भागवत के साथ चर्चा करते हुएबीजेपी की B टीम के नेता असदुद्दीन ओवैसी," wrote one Facebook user.

[Translation: "Where are the candidates to be fielded?" Mohan Bhagwat discussing with BJP's B team leader Asaduddin Owaisi on how to defeat BJP's opponents.]

An archive of the post can be found here.

(Source: Facebook/Screenshot)

More such posts were found on Twitter and Facebook, archives of which can be found here, here, here and here.

WHAT WE FOUND OUT

When conducted a reverse image search of the viral image, we found a similar image in several news reports from December 2021.

However, in the photo, Mulayam Singh Yadav was sitting next to Bhagwat, not Owaisi. The original image was shared by Meghwal on his official Twitter handle.

The image created a controversy ahead of the upcoming elections with both Congress and BJP raising questions about the meeting. The photograph was taken at the wedding reception of Vice President Venkaiah Naidu's granddaughter in Delhi, news agency IANS reported.

Comparison of the original image with the viral image.

(Photo: Altered by The Quint)

We then cropped Owaisi's photograph and conducted a reverse image search on the same on Google. In the search results, we found a tweet by a Twitter user called Syed Sulaiman. According to Sulaiman's Twitter bio, he is the "Official Social Media Administrator of AIMIM and Owaisi."

Owaisi was seen sitting in a similar position wearing the same clothes in the photo that was posted in 2017. According to the caption, Owaisi was meeting British Deputy High Commissioner to AP and Telangana Dr Andrew Fleming.

A link to the tweet can be found here.

(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

We also found a tweet by Dr Fleming about this meeting with Owaisi.

Evidently, a photoshopped image was shared by several social media users to claim that Owaisi and Bhagwat are working together to defeat BJP's opponents.

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(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.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Edited By :Tejas Harad
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