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Did Jagan convert back to Hinduism as viral video claims? Fact Check

A video has been going viral on social media with a caption that claims in Telugu, “Andhra Pradesh Chief minister-elect Jagan Mohan Reddy, at the behest of BJP, converted back to Hinduism.” Noticeably, this video has been going viral ever since Jagan (as he is popularly called in AP) and his party emerged victorious in assembly elections on May 23. See the video here:

On WhatsApp too, the video was shared by many. Here’s a screengrab from WhatsApp:

At the behest of BJP, Jagan re-converted to Hinduism from Christianity, reads the message in Telugu with this WhatsApp message (Digiteye India / WhatsApp)

Here are some basic facts: Jagan Mohan Reddy is the son of late AP chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy (YSR), whose father had converted to Christianity. While YSR, though Christian never shied away from visiting temples including Tirumala, so is Jagan known for his visits to temples.

The claim that he got converted back to Hinduism in view of the latest developments, that too bringing in BJP, looked suspicious and Digiteye India has taken it up for fact-checking.

Google Reverse Image search and Google news search showed that Jagan undertook this ritual way back on August 9, 2016 at the temple town of Rishikesh in Uttarakhand and it was no secret. Widely telecast on TV5 and Sakshi TV in Telugu, the event was covered as a part of YSR Congress Party president Jagan’s visit to Rishikesh to conduct rituals seeking the Special Status for Andhra Pradesh.

See original videos here which cropped up in a search on Youtube:

TV5 new coverage on August 10, 2016:

The news video from Sakshi retelecast recently can be seen here:

Essentially, Jagan visiting temples and performing pooja is not new. He had visited Tirumala every time he undertook a Padayatra. Even his father did visit Tirumala as Chief Minister as per the tradition to pay homage to the deity. In Rayalaseema, where Jagan comes from, many Christian-converted families do follow the rituals of Hinduism and so is Jagan and his family.

Conclusion: The claim with the video is misrepresentation from the point of BJP asking Jagan to perform the ritual to return to Hinduism. Secondly, it was an old video and has nothing to do with present status when Jagan got elected to become the next Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister on May 30, 2019. The claim as per our rating stands at ??? Misrepresentation.

About Rajesh D.V.

Rajesh is our Correspondent based in Hyderabad, with more than 10 years of experience in covering Telugu news for regional websites such as MFMonitor, among others. He has also undergone training for sourcing data and analyzing it from a workshop held by Data Leads in collaboration with the Google News Initiative. He can be reached at telugu@digiteye.in

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