Photos from Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Dubai on Friday and Saturday showing him having breakfast at the home of a Dubai businessman has gone viral with a misleading claim that he had an extravagantly priced meal at a five star hotel in the city. Social media posts also claim that Gandhi had beef during the meal.
The posts that shows Indian National Congress President Gandhi seated with businessman Sunny Varkey and Congress advisor Sam Pitroda at a table with a lavish spread of food, misleadingly claims Gandhi had breakfast worth £1,500 at the Hilton. Photos from the event also claim that thinly sliced pieces of meat on the table are beef.
Twitter user Rishi Bagree claimed that Gandhi met a delegation led by Sam Pitroda, Chairman, Indian Overseas Congress, and “discussed poverty” while having breakfast “worth £1500 at the banquet hall in Hilton”. Bagree’s post has been retweeted more than 2,000 times and liked more than 3,000 times.
Bagree’s Twitter account, which in the past has shared fake and unverified images and posts, is followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah and Union Cabinet Minister of Textiles Smriti Irani.
The post is also viral on Facebook with a similar caption, “Rahul Gandhi met Sam Pitroda led delegation today in the Hilton Banquet hall where they had £1500 (Aprox Rs. 1,35000/-) Breakfast per head & discussed about Poverty”
This is curious because Dubai’s official currency is the dirham, not the pound.
Boom looked through news reports about Gandhi’s visit to Dubai and found that the photo was clicked at a meeting hosted by Sunny Varkey, founder of GEMS education and Varkey Foundation at his home in Dubai.
The meet was attended by business leaders from Dubai including Yusuff Ali MA, founder of Lulu group, and Congress leaders like Pitroda and Milind Deora.
Boom contacted the offices of Yusuff Ali who confirmed that the breakfast meet was held at Varkey’s house. “The breakfast was not at any hotel but at the house of Varkey,” said a close aide of Ali. “There have been pictures posted mentioning the same too.” This was was also confirmed by V Nandakumar, the communications manager of the Lulu group.
An Indian National Congress spokesperson also confirmed that the breakfast meet “was hosted by Varkey at his personal residence” and not at the banquet hall of a hotel. The details were also tweeted by the official handle of the Congress on January 11.
We also found posts from other Congress workers that corroborated that the breakfast was held at a home.
A Twitter user posted a photo from the same breakfast and highlighted a piece of meat and claimed that it was beef. This post was retweeted over 1,000 times.
The same photo is viral on Facebook and Whatsapp with a caption, “HERE IS THE SO CALLED DATTARATREYA KAUL BRAHMAN RAHUL GANDHI EATING BEEF IN DUBAI.. ANYTHING ELSE TO BE SAID!!” The caption on the photo also claims that since the United Arab Emirates is an Islamic country, it doesn’t serve pork and hence the meat is beef.
Boom contacted a Congress spokesperson who said that no beef was served at the breakfast, “The meat circled in the first photo is in fact turkey,” said the spokesperson adding that Gandhi only had orange juice and scrambled eggs.
Boom was not able to independently confirm what the dish was.
This article first appeared on Boomlive.