Does This Image Show Rahul Gandhi Tearing Ordinance on Disqualification of MPs?

The image is from 2012 and shows Rahul Gandhi tearing up a piece of paper with poll promises made by SP and BSP.

3 min read
Hindi Female

A photograph of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tearing up a piece of paper has gone viral following his disqualification from the Lok Sabha.

This comes after Gandhi was convicted by the chief judicial magistrate’s court in Surat in a 2019 case over his remarks on the ‘Modi' surname.

The claim: People sharing the image have claimed that it shows him tearing up a 2013 ordinance brought in by the then Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

The claim states that had Gandhi not junked the ordinance that was being introduced by his own government, he would still be a Member of the Parliament.

The image is from 2012 and shows Rahul Gandhi tearing up a piece of paper with poll promises made by SP and BSP.

An archive of the post can be found here.

(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

(Archives of more such posts can be found here and here.)

The truth: While it is true that Gandhi spoke against the ordinance in public in 2013 and called for it to be "torn up and thrown away," he didn't physically tear it up.


How did we find that out:

  • We conducted a keyword search for "Rahul Gandhi tearing up 2013 ordinance" and found several recent news reports talking about Gandhi speaking out against an ordinance introduced by his party.

  • However, none of the reports carried the viral image showing him tearing a piece of paper.

  • One such news article published in the Livemint said "On 28 September 2013, it was Gandhi who had opposed the ordinance in a press conference and tore the ordinance in a press conference as a token of protest."

  • Taking a cue from that, we conducted a keyword search and found a video of the press conference published on the Indian National Congress' YouTube handle on 27 September 2013.

  • Speaking against the ordinance, Gandhi, at around the 1:05 mark, said, "My opinion on the ordinance is that it’s complete nonsense and that it should be torn up and thrown out. That’s my opinion, my personal opinion on the ordinance. I will repeat it for you, my opinion on the ordinance is that it should be torn up and thrown away."

  • However, at no point in the press conference does Gandhi physically tear up a piece of paper.

  • We also found news reports from 2013 that talked about him trashing the ordinance but there were no visuals of him tearing anything.

  • It's clear that Gandhi called for tearing the paper in a metaphorical sense.


What happened in 2013?:

  • In 2013, in the Lily Thomas vs Union Bank of India case, the Supreme Court struck down section 8(4) of the Representation of The People Act (RP Act) that allowed a convicted lawmaker to stay in office as long as they appealed against the conviction within three months.

  • The Congress-led UPA government introduced an ordinance to circumvent the SC ruling, which was publicly junked by Gandhi.

  • The ordinance was subsequently not passed.

Okay, but what about the viral image?:

  • We then conducted a reverse image search along with keywords for Gandhi tearing up a piece of paper and found a video on NDTV from 16 February 2012.

The image is from 2012 and shows Rahul Gandhi tearing up a piece of paper with poll promises made by SP and BSP.

A link to the video can be found here

(Source: NDTV/Screenshot)

  • According to the news report, the video was from a campaign rally ahead of the 2012 Uttar Pradesh elections.

  • Gandhi was talking against SP and BSP and accused them of making false promises. He then tore a piece of paper that listed poll promises made by both parties.

Conclusion: An old and unrelated image of Rahul Gandhi has been shared to claim it shows him tearing a 2013 ordinance introduced by his party regarding disqualification of convicted lawmakers.


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Topics:  Rahul Gandhi   Webqoof   Fact-Check 

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