A poster with a Malayali message and the image of a person eating from a plate is making the rounds on social media. It also features a photo of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and a logo of the United Democratic Front (UDF), a Congress ally.
Sharing this picture, social media users claimed that the poster asked people to vote for Congress saying, "If you want to eat beef, vote for Congress". Twitter user '@satyamS19745855' shared this picture, writing that this was the same Rahul Gandhi who roamed around as a 'Param Shivbhakt Janaudhari Hindu' (A devotee of Shiva and a sacred thread-wearing Brahmin). The post had garnered about 400 retweets at the time of the writing of this article. (Archived link)
Another user named Anand Kumar amplified the image and the accompanying claim. (Archived link)
Several Twitter users promoted the picture with the same claim.
Alt News used Google Translate to examine the Malayalam text written on the Congress poster. The Google Translate tool roughly translated the text as: “Killing for food? In this country? At this time?"
However, due to the poor quality of the image, the complete text could not be translated properly.
Further, Alt News contacted Saritha S Balan, Kerala bureau head of The News Minute. He saw the viral image and sent us a translation of the text on it, which reads as follows:
“I want to know, are people being killed in this country because of their choice of food? In today's time? We do not need regressive politics. Let unprejudiced people rule this country. We will reclaim our version of India.”
Upon investigation, Alt News found that the image was earlier shared with the same claim in April 2019 as well. While continuing the search, we came to know that these posters were put up during the 2019 Lok Sabha election campaign. You can see many such posters here: (Link 1, Link 2, Link 3, Link 4, Link 5, Link 6). One of these includes the viral poster.[gallery type="slideshow" size="full" ids="150052,150048,150051,150050,150049,150047"]
To sum it up, a poster with Malayalam text is being circulated on social media with the false claim that Congress was appealing for votes from those who wanted to consume beef. In reality, the poster was about the election of a non-discriminatory government questioning 'killing people in the name of food'.