Soon after Rahul Gandhi formally announced his resignation as the president of Congress on Wednesday, there were speculations that party's seniormost leader Motilal Vora could be appointed as its interim chief. In a four-page open letter, Gandhi urged the Congress Working Committee (CWC) to entrust a group of people with the task of finding a new president as it would not be proper for him to do so.
Sources, however, said Gandhi will continue as the Congress president till his resignation is accepted by the CWC and a new chief is appointed after due process. The Congress sources also said speculation that Motilal Vora would be appointed as interim party president are incorrect.
At the same time, a picture claiming Vora touched the feet of former Congress President Rahul Gandhi went viral.
Many social media users, including Sunil Jain -- managing editor of The Financial Express -- used the same picture and tweeted: “Good to see @INCIndia breaking free from the Gandhis as @RahulGandhi wanted. New President #Motilal Vora is not touching Rahul’s feet for his blessings, he just slipped.”
Jain later deleted the tweet, saying: "some confusion over the picture, so am deleting the tweet."
some confusion over the picture, so am deleting the tweet. https://t.co/pR7FmJkK1C— Sunil Jain (@thesuniljain) July 4, 2019
Even famous author Shobhaa De tweeted the picture. "This is such a sad picture. It says everything about what's so horribly wrong with the Congress party," she tweeted.
This is such a sad picture. It says everything about what's so horribly wrong with the Congress party. pic.twitter.com/UBI7jjWVhs— Shobhaa De (@DeShobhaa) July 4, 2019
Using the same image, many users tweeted: "New president of Congress Motilal Vora (90 years) taking blessings from king Rahul by touching his feet…ex prime minister Manmohan Singh holds the bouquet given to Rahul as an obedient house help”
91 year old Congress party member, Motilal Vohra, touching the pious feet of Sri Rahul Gandhi and seeked his blessings after being appointed as Congress President— Vinay Kabadi (@kabadi_vinay) July 4, 2019
Another puppet to take all the blames 8f Congress failures pic.twitter.com/xe6HHAQLID
90 years old Motilal Vohra touching feet of 49 year old Rahul Gandhi taking blessings after appointment of Congress President while 90 years old and our ex-prim minister was holding a bouquet for Rahul Gandhi, Shame on congress culture and this picture is unfortunate!#shameful pic.twitter.com/DusgYEIClk— Narendra Gill (@NarendraGill5) July 5, 2019
@RahulGandhi.... Age 49 years..— Dr Prashant Das ⏫ (@das_prashant777) July 4, 2019
May be Congress President- Shri
Moti Lal Vora... Age 91 years...
राहुल गांधी के पेड़ छू कर Ashirvad लेते हुए l@INCIndia@priyankagandhi
ये किस देश की सभ्यता है l किस प्रकार की
कल्चर हैं समझ में नहीं आ रहा है l pic.twitter.com/CdwwmY5ybv
So, what is the reality?
News Nation reverse-searched the image on Google and found out that the same image had gone viral in December 2018 and many publications had previously fact-checked the image which was taken during the swearing-in ceremony of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel.
We found that the politician seen bowing in the image was not Vora, but TS Singh Deo.
Here is the screenshot of Google reverse search:
In fact, last year, Rajasthan Patrika also carried the viral photo with a small caption explaining the incident. The newspaper had also zoomed into the image to show the piece of thread that had fallen near Gandhi's feet.
A senior journalist based out of Raipur, who incidentally was at the oath-talking ceremony, confirmed to The Quint that Singh Deo had not bent down to touch Gandhi's feet. In fact, the story is quite different.
“I was there when this particular incident happened, Singh Deo had bent down not to touch Gandhi’s feet, but to pick up a piece of thread that had fallen off the bouquet that Manmohan Singh was carrying. He definitely did not fall at Gandhi’s feet.” the senior journalist had told The Quint.