Fact Check: Viral image shows Congress leader Venugopal drinking black tea, not alcohol

By Sibahathulla Sakib  Published on  15 Jun 2024 4:31 PM GMT
Fact Check: Viral image shows Congress leader Venugopal drinking black tea, not alcohol
Claim: Rajya Sabha MP and Congress leader KC Venugopal was drinking alcohol at a restaurant in Kerala during Rahul Gandhi’s visit.
Fact: The claim is false. It is black tea in his glass, not alcohol.

Hyderabad: An image of Kerala Congress leader KC Venugopal, allegedly drinking alcohol at a restaurant with other leaders including Rahul Gandhi, has gone viral. The photo shows Rajya Sabha MP KC Venugopal holding a glass containing a black-coloured liquid, that many are claiming to be alcohol.

Tagging the Kerala police, an X user shared the photo with the caption, “this restaurant doesnt have licence to sell alcohol. How they are serving alcohol to Congress leaders? (sic)” (Archive)

The post also included a video report from IANS with the caption, “Watch: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, on his way to Wayanad, enjoyed a delicious lunch at the ‘White House’ restaurant in Thamarassery.” The image is a screenshot from the video report.

Fact Check

NewsMeter found that the claim is false.

Humayun Kabir, also Kozhikode district working President of Kerala Hotel and Restaurant Association said that the claim is completely baseless and refuted saying that they don't serve any kind of liquor in the restaurant. They don't have a license to sell the liquor. He also added that the sediments of tea powder are clearly visible on the bottom of the glass. He also confirmed that they served black tea for KC Venugopal. Further, he added that tea and liquor are served in different types of glasses.

A close examination of the glass that Venugopal was holding revealed a sediment at the bottom. This is similar to the tea sediment seen in glasses with black tea.

Many have also commented that the glass seen in the viral image is usually used to serve alcohol. Using images found on Google reviews of the restaurant, we made a comparison of glasses with different types of tea in them and the glass in the viral photo.
The comparison shows that similar glasses are being used by the hotel to serve different types of tea to customers.

A keyword search led us to a report from The Times of India titled ‘Tea, not alcohol: Congress clarifies viral photo of K C Venugopal’ published June 14, 2024. According to the report, Congress on Friday issued a clarification on a viral photo of party general secretary KC Venugopal. It said that rumours of Venugopal consuming alcohol in a restaurant is fake news; it was only black tea in the glass. The Congress has also lodged a complaint in Hyderabad against the fake claim doing rounds on social media.

As per the report, Congress identified an individual named Shashank Singh behind the spread of the fake news. “This individual Shashank Singh had not only posted a false caption with the picture but he had also tagged the Kerala Police and asked them to take actions against Shri KC Venugopal Ji.”

We also found similar reports on the issue from NDTV and ANI News.

Additionally, an X post by Congress shared information that Congress MLC Dr Venkat Narsing Rao Balmoor has lodged a complaint with the Cyber Crimes Police Station in Hyderabad, accompanied by a copy of the FIR.

It is clear that Venugopal was not drinking alcohol but black tea in the viral image.

Claim Review:Rajya Sabha MP and Congress leader KC Venugopal was drinking alcohol at a restaurant in Kerala during Rahul Gandhi’s visit.
Claimed By:X User
Claim Reviewed By:NewsMeter
Claim Source:X
Claim Fact Check:False
Fact:The claim is false. It is black tea in his glass, not alcohol.
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