A viral graphic, which carries a photo of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat, is being shared on social media to claim that he called Rahul Gandhi a "future leader", adding that "taking him lightly" would not be good.
It adds that Bhagwat further said that 'Gandhi's family history shows that taking him lightly would not be right.'
However, we found no record of Bhagwat ever making such a statement. Further, we spoke to a senior functionary in the RSS, who said that the claim is false and Bhagwat never said this.
The quote reads, "राहुल गांधी भविष्य के नेता हैं, उनको ज़्यादा मज़ाक में लेना महंगा पड़ेगा उनके परिवार का इतिहास बताता है राहुल जी को हल्के में लेना सही नहीं होगा."
[Translation: Rahul Gandhi is a future leader, mocking him too much will prove to be bad. His family's history tells us that taking him lightly will not be right.]
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
First, we looked the quote up, and found no credible news reports regarding any such statement being made by Bhagwat.
It is important to note that if Bhagwat would had made a statement of this kind, especially about Gandhi, media outlets would have prominently carried the news.
Next, we looked up Bhagwat's verified Twitter account, but found that it had not shared any tweets.
A search on the RSS' verified social media accounts – on Facebook and Twitter – returned various posts mentioning Gandhi in them, but none referred to him as a "future leader" or spoke positively of him.
We also contacted a senior functionary in the RSS, who said that the claim is false. Clearly, there is no record of Bhagwat ever making any such statement.
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