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Pro-BJP pages target India’s Siddaramaiah with edited ‘Muslim rebirth’ video

Screenshot of the false post taken on March 13, 2024
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Screenshot of the false post taken on March 13, 2024

The post appears to play on Congress critics’ accusations that the party — which previously dominated the Indian political landscape — is pro-Muslim and anti-Hindu.

India is a Hindu majority country and Muslims make up around 15 percent of the population.

The edited video was shared by various pro-BJP accounts, including on Facebook and X here and here, as the world’s biggest democracy prepared to elect a new government in a month-and-a-half-long election starting April 19.

Clipped video

In the top-left corner of the edited video, the logo of local news outlet TV9 Kannada Digital is seen.

A keyword search on TV9 Kannada Digital’s YouTube channel found the original footage of Siddaramaiah speaking posted on March 10, 2024 (archived link).

The full video shows he was criticising a regional political party in Karnataka called Janata Dal (Secular) and its founder HD Deve Gowda — along with the BJP.

Speaking in Kannada, he says from the 18:30 timestamp: “Deve Gowda once said he would never align with the BJP because it is not a secular party” (archived link).

“He once said he wished to be born a Muslim in his next life. But that same Deve Gowda has now aligned with the BJP.”

Below is a screenshot comparison between the edited video (left) and TV9 Kannada Digital’s footage of Siddaramaiah speaking (right).

<span>Screenshot comparison of the edited video (left) and original footage (right)</span><span><button class=

Screenshot comparison of the edited video (left) and original footage (right)

The part of the video where Siddaramaiah mentions Deve Gowda has been removed in the edited video shared on social media.

Siddaramaiah’s attack on Gowda was widely reported in Indian media, including the ANI news agency as well as The Hindu and Deccan Herald newspapers (archived links here, here and here).

AFP was unable to verify if Gowda genuinely said he wanted to be reborn as a Muslim.

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