English, Fake News

This video doesn’t show Telangana auto drivers protesting the Congress Government’s free bus scheme for women


In light of the newly formed Telangana Government, by the Congress party, implementing the Mahalakshmi Scheme – a free bus facility for women in Telangana, a video showing a rally of auto rickshaws has been widely circulated on social media claiming that it shows auto unions protesting against this free bus scheme in Telangana. Let’s verify the claim made in the post.

Claim: Visuals of an auto rickshaw rally in Telangana, protesting against the free bus facility for women, a scheme implemented by the Congress Government.

Fact: Viral video shows an election campaign rally led by Patancheru BRS MLA, Gudem Mahipal Reddy. This footage was available online as early as 25 November 2023, clearly predating the implementation of the Free Bus Facility scheme for women in Telangana, which occurred on 09 December 2023. Despite media reports of auto drivers protesting against the scheme’s implementation, the viral video is not related to these current events. Hence the claim made in the post is MISLEADING.

Reverse image search of the viral video has led us to the same footage, published by several BRS party workers and leaders as early as 25 November 2023. They stated that it shows an election campaign rally by the BRS Patancheru Candidate, Gudem Mahipal Reddy (GMR).

These videos display vehicles adorned with BRS party flags and the name of the G.M.R Foundation on vehicles, which are also visible in other election rally videos (here and here) of Gudem Mahipal Reddy.

Furthermore, the Telangana Assembly elections took place on 30 November 2023, with results declared on 03 December. The Free Bus Facility scheme for women was implemented subsequently on 09 December 2023. From the evidence presented, it is clear that the viral video predates the implementation of the Free Bus Facility scheme for women in Telangana and has no relation to it. However, media reports (here & here)  indicate that following the implementation of the free bus ride scheme for women, a significant number of auto drivers across Telangana have started protesting. They are demanding that the government provide them with alternative sources of income and compensation for the losses they have suffered due to this scheme.

To sum it up, an old and unrelated video is being circulated as recent footage of auto drivers in Telangana protesting against the Congress Government’s implementation of the Free Bus Facility scheme for women.


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