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Was a ‘Body Double’ Used in the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra? What We Found

The person seen in the viral image was identified as Madhya Pradesh Congress worker Rakesh Kushwaha.

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WebQoof
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On 25 January, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma claimed that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi used a body double for the party's 'Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra'.

Who shared it?: Sarma made the claim on the basis of an X (formerly Twitter) post shared by India Today NE.

  • The post was shared with a caption that said, "Is Rahul Gandhi's body double part of Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra?."

The person seen in the viral image was identified as Madhya Pradesh Congress worker Rakesh Kushwaha.

An archive of the post can be found here.

(Source: X/Screenshot)

The post had garnered over 24 thousand views on the platform. The same claim was later picked by several social media users.

What did Sarma say?: In a press conference held on 25 January, Sarma said, "India Today NE has raised a question. The person seen in front of the bus is not really Rahul. Rahul sits in the room inside which has the seating capacity of eight people. They use a body double outside."

  • Sarma then showed the screen of his phone displaying the viral post by the media organisation.

The person seen in the viral image was identified as Madhya Pradesh Congress worker Rakesh Kushwaha.

Sarma showing the viral post on his phone.

(Source: YouTube/Screenshot)

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Does the viral photo show Gandhi's bus?: No, the bus seen in the viral post is not the one which is being used by Gandhi for 'Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra'.

  • We checked the visuals of the yatra in Assam, which is available on the official YouTube channel of Congress.

  • This confirmed that the two vehicles are actually different.

  • The bus in the yatra was of orange colour, whereas the photo shared by the media organisation showed a yellow-coloured bus.

  • Team WebQoof further found live stream videos shared on Gandhi's official X handle, which showed the journey from Nagaland to Assam.

  • All these videos showed an orange-coloured bus.

The person seen in the viral image was identified as Madhya Pradesh Congress worker Rakesh Kushwaha.

A comparison clearly shows that both the vehicles are different.

(Source: YouTube/Screenshot/Altered by The Quint)

What about the person in the viral image?: The person seen in the viral image was identified as Madhya Pradesh Congress worker Rakesh Kushwaha. He confirmed to Quint Hindi that it was him in the viral image.

  • Kushwaha told us that the image is from 22 January and the bus was provided to him by the Youth Congress.

"That is me in the viral photo. I had decided that I would participate in the 'Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra' with the same look that Rahul Gandhi had during 'Bharat Jodo Yatra'. The bus in which I am seen sitting was provided to some workers by Youth Congress. I have never travelled in the bus in which Rahul Gandhi was travelling."
Rakesh Kushwaha, MP Congress worker
  • Kushwaha also sent us his photographs. We also found some of them shared on his Facebook account.

  • It can be clearly seen that Kushwaha's appearance matches that of Gandhi during 'Bharat Jodo Yatra'.

  • However, Kushwaha's look is completely different than the present look of Gandhi.

  • Image of Rakesh Kushwaha, MP Congress worker.

    (Source: Accessed by Quint Hindi)

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News reports: We found several reports that showed Kushwaha in Gandhi's look. A video shared on the official YouTube channel of ABP News carried an interview of Kushwaha that was uploaded on 12 June 2023.

  • In this video, he could be heard saying that he wanted to participate in the second yatra in the same look in which Gandhi had ended the first yatra.

  • Live Hindustan, NMF News, and IBC 24, too, had shared video reports on Kushwaha.

Comparing viral image with Kushwaha's photo: When we compared the person seen in the viral image with Kushwaha's photo, we found that both visuals show the same person.

The person seen in the viral image was identified as Madhya Pradesh Congress worker Rakesh Kushwaha.

A comparison clearly shows it was Kushwaha in the viral photo.

(Source: Accessed by Quint Hindi/Screenshot/Altered by The Quint)

Comparing Gandhi's recent image with viral image: We compared the person seen in the viral image with the present look of Gandhi and found that the former did not show Gandhi.

The person seen in the viral image was identified as Madhya Pradesh Congress worker Rakesh Kushwaha.

A comparison clearly highlights the similarities.

(Source: Viral Image/Screenshot/Altered by The Quint)

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9540511818 , 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.)

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