On Monday, a video showing Uttar Pradesh chief minister Adityanath abusively lashing out on camera went viral on social media. The politician had received his Covid vaccine minutes before, and was offering a customary bite to the newswire agency Asian News International, or ANI.
“I would like to extend my greetings to the country’s scientists,” Adityanath droned on, before twitching at a minor interruption by a person in the room. He then lowered his voice and said, “Kya karte ho chutiyapane ka...” before the video cut off.
In other words: "What are you doing, you fucker?"
Navneet Sehgal, UP’s additional chief secretary of information, told Newslaundry that the video “seems morphed”. “Somebody must have played with the video,” Sehgal said. “We have uploaded the genuine video. He didn’t actually say it if you watch that.”
Meanwhile, ANI’s Uttar Pradesh bureau tweeted a retraction, stating that the video had been shot live. “Earlier issued live sound byte is retracted,” it said.
On Economic Times, the new version of the ; if you watch and listen carefully, the chief minister this time doesn’t call anyone a “fucker”.
Isn’t it likely that after Adityanath’s outburst, ANI reshot the video, we asked Sehgal. “Only official videos go public, nothing else,” he said. “Although we haven’t checked entirely ourselves.”
Twitter users that the chief minister’s insult was directed towards the ANI reporter. The newswire agency has not issued a statement so far. Newslaundry rang up editor-in-chief Smita Prakash for a comment.
“I do not speak to Newslaundry, sorry,” Prakash said, before hanging up. A separate set of questions texted to Prakash did not elicit a response.
The silence at ANI suggests it is in no mood to trouble the Adityanath government. Why would it? In 2017, an ANI journalist was even seen Adityanath’s feet. Why earn mahantji’s ire when you can pretend nothing happened instead?
In its live telecast of the chief minister's vaccination this morning, ABP Ganga ran the video where Adityanath is cursing. You can spot it at 6:00.