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What went behind the Sapna Choudhary controversy

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The controversy surrounding Haryanvi singer and dancer Sapna Choudhary “joining Congress” is refusing to die down. It all started on Saturday (March 23) when photos of Sapna surfaced in media, showing her allegedly signing the Congress membership form.

The news soon spread like wildfire with UP Congress chief Raj Babbar’s tweet welcoming the singer into the party. Babbar also tweeted a picture of Sapna with Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

To cut the story short, Sapna on Sunday clearly denied the reports of her joining the Congress and claimed that “the photo is old”. After Sapna’s denial, Congress UP secretary Narendra Rathi came up with evidence, showing the membership form of Congress allegedly signed by Sapna and her sister.

Amid the confusion, BJP IT cell head Amit Malviya claimed that the Congress’ membership form signed by Sapna has been forged.

With pieces of evidence in hand, India Today Anti Fake News War Room (AFWA) has found that it is likely that Sapna joined the Congress.

The controversial photo of Sapna with Priyanka

We first reached out to the man who is seen posing with Priyanka and Sapna in the photo. The man in the photo is Dev Kumar Deva, a singer and also Sapna’s friend. Dev told India Today that the picture was taken on March 14 when he and Sapna met Priyanka at Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia’s office in Delhi. Dev said Congress in the meeting offered Sapna a ticket from Mathura to which she replied that “she will think about it”.

We then searched for the picture on the Internet, but couldn’t find it anytime before the controversy. It is most likely that the photo was taken recently and and it is not very old.

Reacting to the controversy that Sapna signed the membership form, Dev said, “I think Sapna was not aware that she is signing the membership form. Sapna told me that she had only submitted her bio-data.”

During the press conference when Sapna was asked about the photo where she is seen holding a Congress slip, she said “she’s is not literate enough to understand what was written on the slip”.

“Did you see my name on the slip? No. So you can’t point out me,” she added. Interestingly, news agency ANI tweeted a copy of the slip clearly showing Sapna’s name mentioned on it.

Malviya’s claim about Congress forging the membership form

Malviya in his tweet claimed that the form signed by Sapna is forged because the date mentioned in the form mentions the period 2011-15. When we asked UP Congress about the dates, they agreed that it is an old membership form but still in use.

To further verify it, we obtained the Congress’ membership form which is currently in use. We accessed the form of former BJP leader Ajay Kumar Shrivastava who joined the Congress on February 12. The time period mentioned in his form too says ‘2011-15’.

It means that Congress is still using dated forms to provide membership. So by looking minutely the membership form, we couldn’t find any forgery or overwriting in the form of Sapna Choudhary.

With each passing day, the controversy is growing. On Monday, photos of Sapna with Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari surfaced on the Internet, giving rise to speculation that she might join the saffron party.

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