A collage of two photographs is being shared with a claim that it shows the crowd at the Indian National Congress' Bharat Jodo Yatra in Karnataka's Ballari district.
While the rally did see a massive turnout, the two pictures that are being shared are unrelated.
The first image could be traced back to at least 2010, and as per blogs that we found, it is from Nigeria.
The second image is from a Congress event held in Telangana in 2021.
An unverified Facebook account called 'IT & Social Media Cell Congress' shared one of the two pictures and wrote, "राहुल गांधी की #भारत_जोड़ो_यात्रा के दौरान बेल्लारी की आमसभा का दृश्य। ऐतिहासिक, अद्भुत और अकल्पनीय!."
[Translation: A view of the people who came to attend Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Yatra. Historic, amazing and unimaginable.]
Congress' National Coordinator Ritu Choudhary also shared the same image, with another one, to make the same claim.
The images are widely being shared across platforms. We also received several queries on our WhatsApp tipline number.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
We conducted a reverse image search on both the pictures and found that one is as old as 2010, while the other one is from Telangana.
On conducting a reverse image on the photo using Yandex, we came across a website called 'Nairaland.com', which carried this picture. The date mentioned in the blog was 2015 and it read 'Reinhard bonnke crusade'.
Next, we looked up 'Reinhard Bonnke' and found that he was an evangelist known for his gospel missions in Africa. We also found an unverified Facebook page in his name, where we found a similar picture uploaded on 20 July 2020, but the caption mentioned "Nigeria, 2002."
This picture was also found on another website called 'kanoonline.com,' where the source of the photo was mentioned as 'bonnke.net/cfan.'
CFAN stands for 'Christ For All Nations' and Bonnke was a founder of the website.
The page didn't exist, but we could locate the archive of this image on 'Wayback Machine' from 26 June 2010.
This is the same image which is now being passed off as an image from Congress' Bharat Jodo Yatra. While we have not been able to independently verify the location, the image is certainly old and predates the march.
On conducting a reverse image search on the photo, we came across a tweet by Congress leader Mohammed Feroz Khan from 13 October 2021, which carried the same photo.
The caption mentioned that the photo was from 'Vidyardhi Nirudhyoga Siren' meeting held in Telangana.
'Vidyardhi Nirudhyoga Jung Siren' was an agitation launched by the Congress party against the TRS government to highlight the issue of unemployment among the youth.
WHAT ABOUT THE FOOTFALL AT BALLARI EVENT?
According to an article in The Indian Express, thousands of people attended the Ballari event, where other than Gandhi, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Bhagel, and Congress presidential candidate Mallikarjun Kharge were present.
Congress leaders and the official party handles shared pictures and videos from the rally which did show a massive crowd.
But the pictures that are being shared as Ballari district, are clearly old and unrelated.
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