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Fact Check: No, Rahul Gandhi was not carrying Chinese constitution at his rallies, Assam CM's claim false

A photo of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is going viral on social media with a claim that he is holding a copy of the Chinese constitution at his election rally instead of the Indian constitution.

Edited By: Arushi Jaiswal @JaiswalArushi New Delhi Updated on: May 20, 2024 9:26 IST
A screenshot of a social media post falsely suggesting that
Image Source : X A screenshot of a social media post falsely suggesting that Rahul Gandhi was flaunting the Chinese constitution

Fact Check by Logically Facts: 

The Verdict [False]

Rahul Gandhi was seen holding a pocket-sized edition of the Indian Constitution, covered in red, authored by Gopal Sankaranarayanan.

What is the claim?

A photo of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi holding a book with a red cover is circulating on social media. The claim accompanying the image suggests that the Wayanad MP is holding a copy of the 'original Chinese constitution,' which is rumoured to have a 'red cover,' in contrast to the 'original Indian constitution,' which allegedly has a 'blue cover.'

The assertion was initially made (archived here) by BJP leader and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on May 17. He posted on X, stating, "The original copy of the Constitution of India has a blue cover. The original Chinese constitution has a red cover. Is Rahul carrying a Chinese Constitution? We need to verify."

Sarma appeared to justify his statement further when he posted (archived here) again on X on May 18, saying, "Rahul is displaying a red Chinese constitution to the people attending his meetings. Our constitution, which is blue, includes a chapter called the Directive Principles of State Policy. This chapter makes it a sacred duty to enact a Uniform Civil Code in our country. Rahul is now opposing this. That’s why I am sure that the constitution in his hand must be a Chinese one."

Sarma’s first post featured two separate images: one displaying the Chinese constitution with a red cover and another showcasing the Indian constitution with a blue cover. Subsequently, other social media users picked up and reshared this post. Archived versions of such posts can be viewed here, here, here, and here.

India Tv - Fact check, Rahul Gandhi

Image Source : XScreenshot of the viral social media posts

What are the facts?

The exact image of Gandhi holding the red-covered book was located on the Press Trust of India (PTI) website (archive link) with the caption, "Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addresses during a public meeting for Lok Sabha polls, in Gadwal, Telangana, Sunday, May 5, 2024. (PTI Photo)."

India Tv - Fact check, Rahul Gandhi

Image Source : PTIRahul Gandhi's image on the PTI Photos website

Based on this, we managed to get a video from the same event in Gadwal, where Gandhi gave his speech. He shared a live stream on YouTube (archived here) titled "Lok Sabha 2024 Campaign | Public Meeting | Gadwal, Telangana," on May 5, 2024. At the 29:17 mark, the cover of the book he was holding, clearly marked with the words "The Constitution of India," is visible.

While holding the book, Gandhi stated in Hindi, "...if the poor, OBCs, Dalits, and tribes in the country have gained anything, it is because of this book, our constitution. If you have employment, daily wages, public sectors, and reservations, it's all because of this book. Before its existence, India had no rights for you all. This book protects the rights of all sections of people: the OBC, minorities, tribes, and general castes. And the BJP wants to tear this book. This book is the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi, B.R. Ambedkar, and Jawaharlal Nehru…" The reference here clearly refers to the Constitution of India.

The Telangana Youth Congress also posted (archived version) a similar photo of Gandhi holding the red-covered copy of the Indian constitution on April 29, 2024.

Constitution of India with a red cover

In our search for a red-covered Indian constitution book, we found a specific edition by Gopal Sankaranarayanan titled 'Constitution of India (Coat Pocket Edition),' published by Eastern Book Company (EBC). This book is available on the EBC Webstore, an online law bookstore, and the Amazon online shopping platform. We observed that this EBC edition matches the copy Gandhi was holding in the viral image.

Other leaders with the red cover copy

This is not the first time a politician has been seen holding this copy. Previously, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and former President of India Ram Nath Kovind have all been photographed holding the same edition of the book.

On October 23, 2023, the online legal research database SCC Online (archive link) (published by EBC) shared a photo of Shah receiving a copy and stated, "EBC Directors, Mr. Sumain Malik, and Mr. Sumeet Malik, presented a copy of the Coat Pocket Constitution to Mr. Amit Shah, Minister of Home Affairs of India."

Similarly, The Statesman published a report on July 26, 2017, featuring a photo of Modi presenting a similar copy of the constitution to the then-president Ram Nath Kovind.

On July 15, 2021, Droupadi Murmu (archive link), President of India, posted an image showing Kovind receiving a copy from Shri Mangubhai Chhaganbhai Patel, Governor of Madhya Pradesh.

Blue cover version of Indian constitution

In a Times of India report dated January 30, 2024, titled "How they made sure India's Constitution lasts for ages," the image now circulating in viral posts to represent the 'original blue-covered Constitution' was included. According to the report, the original handwritten copies of the Constitution of India are preserved inside the Parliament Library in display cases.

Constitution controversy

Initially, Gandhi asked all party candidates to carry a copy of the constitution during nominations and public meetings, and he began doing the same himself. BJP president JP Nadda even accused Gandhi of only carrying a copy of the constitution but not reading it.

On May 17, 2024, at a rally with Samajwadi Party Chief Akhilesh Yadav, Gandhi raised this matter, criticising PM Modi for allegedly attempting to undermine citizens' constitutional values and rights. Following this, Sarma questioned whether Gandhi was carrying a 'red-covered Chinese constitution.'

The verdict

The viral image depicts Congress leader Rahul Gandhi holding a coat pocket version of the Constitution of India authored by Gopal Sankaranarayanan and published by EBC. Hence, the assertion that Gandhi was carrying a copy of the Chinese constitution is false.

(Disclaimer: This story was originally published by Logically Facts, and republished by India TV as part of the Shakti Collective.)


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