English, Fake News

The viral screenshot claiming that the Dainik Bhaskar survey predicts I.N.D.I.A bloc lead in 10 states is fake


Several posts (here, here, & here), accompanied by a screenshot purportedly showing the front page of the Hindi newspaper Dainik Bhaskar’s Bhopal edition, are being widely shared across social media platforms. The viral screenshot claims that a joint survey by Dainik Bhaskar and Nielsen has predicted that the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (I.N.D.I.A) will lead in ten states. In this article, let’s fact-check the claim made in these posts.

The archived version of these posts can be found here, here, & here.

Claim: The Hindi newspaper Dainik Bhaskar published a report predicting the lead of the I.N.D.I.A bloc in 10 states in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Fact: The viral screenshot is fake. Dainik Bhaskar did not publish any such news report in its Bhopal edition on 13 April 2024, or in any other editions. On 13 April 2024, Dainik Bhaskar denounced the viral post as fake in a tweet on X(Twitter). Hence, the claim made in the post is FALSE.

We noticed that the purported screenshot of the Dainik Bhaskar paper displayed the Bhopal edition published on 13 April 2024. Taking a cue from this, we searched for the e-paper from that date on the Dainik Bhaskar website. However, in the actual e-paper (archived link) of the Bhopal edition, no election survey report was published on 13 April 2024. Instead, the front page featured a BJP advertisement and a report about Bhopal’s rainfall. We also examined the front pages of all other editions of Dainik Bhaskar, but the viral survey report predicting the I.N.D.I.A bloc’s lead was nowhere to be found. This information clearly indicates that the viral screenshot is digitally created. Below is a comparison between the viral newspaper screenshot and the original newspaper edition.

We have also found a post on X (formerly Twitter) by Dainik Bhaskar dated 13 April 2024, denouncing the survey as fake. The post reads, “this survey is fake, which has been prepared by some anti-social elements… Dainik Bhaskar does not claim any such content… Strict action should be taken against such people.”  They have also published a fact-checking article on their website labelling the viral screenshot as fake.

Further, Dainik Bhaskar did not release any pre-poll survey report in collaboration with Nielsen. However, the paper published its first survey results on 14 April 2024 to gauge ‘the mood of the voters’. The survey, titled ‘Mera Vote Meri Marzi’, was conducted in 308 Lok Sabha seats across 12 states over a period of seven days and garnered responses from over eight lakh respondents. It concluded that 48% of voters support the re-election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while 37% express dissatisfaction with rising unemployment. Contrary to the claims made in the viral screenshot, this survey does not predict any lead for the INDIA bloc in 10 states.

To sum it up, the viral screenshot claiming that the Dainik Bhaskar survey predicts I.N.D.I.A bloc lead in 10 states is fake.


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