Ahead of the 2022 Uttar Pradesh (UP) elections, two breaking news graphic plates showing Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Mulayam Singh Yadav purportedly saying "I can see BJP coming to power" and "over nationalism, border and language, ideology of SP and BJP are same" are being shared on social media.
The claim comes in the backdrop of a photo shared by union minister of state Arjun Ram Meghwal where Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat and Yadav can be seen sitting together at an event organised at the residence of Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu.
However, we found the statements were made by the former UP Chief Minister during the 2015 Bihar Assembly elections and not now.
The photo is being shared along with the claim in Hindi that reads, "मोहन भागवत मिलने के बाद मुलायम को लग रहा है उत्तर प्रदेश मे बीजेपी की सरकार बन रही है."
(Translation: After meeting Mohan Bhagwat, Mulayam feels that BJP will come to power in UP.)
WHAT WE FOUND
A Google reverse image search on the photo led us to a tweet posted by a user on 13 February 2017 that carried the two graphic plates.
A reply in the tweet mentioned that the statement was made during the Bihar elections.
Taking cue from here, we conducted a search on Google using relevant keywords such as 'Mulayam Singh Yadav Bihar BJP' and found one video posted on 12 October 2015 on a YouTube channel named 'Samachar Plus'.
In the video, the SP supremo can he heard talking about BJP ideologue Deendayal Upadhyay and Jan Sangh (BJP).
He said that the SP's and Jan Sangh's ideology over the topis of nationalism, border and language are the same. SP just doesn't talk about the development of Hindi language, it talks about the development of all Indian languages, Yadav added.
It needs to be noted that we couldn't find the exact match of the graphic plates, however, the graphic plates of 'Samachar Plus' looked similar to that of the viral image and the text also matched.
We also found news reports about Yadav's statement on The Indian Express as well as Zee News which mentioned that Mulayam Singh had said that BJP had a chance of winning but spoilt it because of its comment on reservation policy.
It must be recalled that the SP had fought the Bihar polls alone and had pulled out of the 'Mahagathbandhan' (Grand Alliance comprising Rashtriya Janata Dal, Janata Dal (United) and the Congress).
Clearly, an old statement by the SP leader during the Bihar polls is being falsely shared ahead of the 2022 UP elections.