Massive Sea of Crowd.
Guess the Speaker?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been frequenting to his election bound home state of Gujarat on multiple occasions in the past few weeks. On 9th October 2022, Narendra Modi declared Modhera of Gujarat as the first solar power village of the country in a public rally held in Modhera. Several Congress supporters and individuals who are critical of Narendra Modi and his right-wing political party, the BJP, have shared this video and claimed that there was no crowd during Modi’s recent rally, and he was talking to empty chairs. They can be seen here, here, here, here, here and here.
What’s the truth?
Looking at the virally shared video closely, it is clear that it was not taken during the event when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was talking in the event. From the video, we can see that the stage is visibly empty and a recorded video of Modi talking is being played on the LED displays. Since the event was highly televised, we could find videos of the event online quite easily and the full video of the event is available in Bharatiya Janata Party’s official YouTube channel.
In the beginning of the video, at 1 minute and 20 seconds mark, we can clearly see auditorium full of people. Similarly, at 36-minute mark, the camera pans to show the entire auditorium packed with people. In the almost hour-long video, various times the camera moves to show the crowd and it is very clear that the chairs were not empty. The video virally shared by the Congress supporters and others indicate that the video was taken after the event was over as the display plays Modi’s speech as well as people leaving the hall. The stage is empty here as the event has already concluded.
The virally shared video on social media by many to claim that Modi was giving a speech to empty chairs is misleading as it was taken after the event was concluded and people were walking out. His speech was replayed on the displays when people were leaving.