Bollywood actor and politician Kangana Ranaut has left many social media users bemused after claiming that freedom fighter Subhas Chandra Bose was India’s first prime minister (video above). Ranaut made the remark during a Times Now Summit in New Delhi.

“Clarify me one thing for me, when we got independence, where did India’s first prime minister Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose go?” Ranaut, who is the BJP’s Lok Sabha candidate from Mandi in Himachal Prasad, asked Navika Kumar, the host. When Kumar said Bose was never prime minister of India, Ranaut retorted, “He wasn’t. But why not?”

Ranaut was echoing a line that has been taken by BJP leaders earlier. “Netaji Subhash was the first head of Akhand Bharat, who freed Andaman before 1947 and hoisted the Tricolor,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in September 2022, while inaugurating Kartavya Path and unveiling a statue of Bose’s at India Gate, New Delhi. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh made a similar claim in November that year while attending an event at a private university in Greater Noida. “The Azad Hind Sarkar was the first ‘swadeshi’ government of India,” Singh said at the time. “I have zero hesitation in calling it the first ‘swadeshi sarkar’. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose had formed this government and taken oath as prime minister on October 21, 1943.”

Full video (Find Ranaut's remark at 23-minute-35-second mark)

Here are some social media responses to Ranaut’s comments.