Hyderabad: The Puducherry government suffered a major blow recently after five Congress MLAs joined the BJP. Amidst this, a photo has gone viral with the claim that a Congress MLA from Puducherry who joined the BJP was attacked by Congress workers.
One Twitter user shared the photo and wrote, "Puducherry Congress MLA who joined BJP manhandled by Congress workers. Sad." (archive)
NewsMeter performed a reverse image search and found an uncropped version of the same image published in a 2018 news report. According to the report, a protest took place in Puducherry in 2018 during a public hearing for the expansion of Strides Shasun Limited, a pharmaceutical unit.
A report by The Hindu on the same incident read, "Police resorted to lathi charge and burst tear gas shells to disperse the protesters. Senior Superintendent of Police (Law and Order) Apoorva Gupta said a group in support of the company and another opposing it clashed at Mathur Road and the Kalapet junction."
A video story by India Today on the clash can be seen here.
India Today contacted A. Namassivayam, former PWD minister of Puducherry and the first MLA to quit the Congress and join the BJP in January 2021. He dismissed the claims and said, "I joined BJP after resigning from my MLA post. Neither I nor other legislators from Congress who joined BJP were attacked by anyone as claimed in these social media posts. No incident of this sort has come to our notice."
It is clear that the viral claim that a Puducherry Congress MLA who joined BJP was manhandled by other Congress workers is FALSE. The photo is from 2018.