A screenshot of a bulletin by Uttar Pradesh-based news channel Bharat Samachar has gone viral on social media with the false claim that the Tirupati Balaji Mandir in Andhra Pradesh has donated Rs 100 crore towards the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.
The Public Relations Officer of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams, the trust which manages the Tirupati Balaji Temple, as well as a member of the Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust confirmed to The Quint’s WebQoof team that the claim is false. No such donation has been made.
Screenshots of a bulletin by Bharat Samachar, stating that Tirupati Balaji Temple will donate Rs 1 Arab (or Rs 100 crore) towards the Ram Mandir construction, and that the Mahavir Temple in Patna will donate Rs 10 crore, have been shared widely on Facebook.
The claim was also viral on Twitter.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
The screenshots are of an old 2019 bulletin by a regional news channel, Bharat Samachar. The video had been uploaded on Facebook on 11 November 2019 with a claim that Tirupati Balaji Temple will donate money towards the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.
However, in an email correspondence, the Public Relations Officer of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams, the trust which manages the Tirupati Balaji Temple, confirmed to The Quint’s WebQoof team that the claim is false.
We then reached out Bimlendra Mohan Pratap Mishra, a member of the Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, responsible for the construction and management of the temple in Ayodhya.
Mishra also confirmed that the Tirupati Temple had not donated any money to the Ram Mandir.
He further stated that Patna’s Mahavir Mandir had indeed announced a Rs 10 crore donation towards the Ram Mandir. However, it will be made in installments. The announcement was made by the temple in February 2020.
The country-wide donation drive for the Ram Mandir had kicked off on 15 January with President of India Ram Nath Kovind donating Rs 5 lakh towards the construction of temple.