Fact Check: MS Dhoni’s 2020 Image Shared To Claim He Asked People To Vote For Congress

The Verdict: [False]


    The image is from October 2020 and shows MS Dhoni celebrating the Chennai Super King’s official account reaching the six million-follower milestone.

 

What is the claim?

An image of cricketer and former captain of the men’s Indian cricket team, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, is circulating on social media platforms with a claim that he urged people to vote for the Congress party in the ongoing Indian general elections.

In the photo, Dhoni is donning a blue and yellow jersey of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) — a professional cricket team of the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise — and is holding his left palm and right index finger up. One user sharing the image (archived here) on X (formerly Twitter) wrote, “Dhoni asking people of India to vote for Congress #Thala_for_a_reason #LokSabhaElections2024.” Archived versions of similar posts can be found here, here, and here. 

The picture is also being shared on Facebook with similar claims, and their archived versions can be found here, here, and here.

 

Screenshots of some viral social media posts. (Source: X/Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)

While the Congress party’s symbol is the hand, this image of him holding up his left hand is being shared out of context to falsely claim that he is endorsing the grand old party. In the viral photo, Dhoni’s hand gestures symbolize CSK’s official account on X (then called Twitter) hitting six million followers in 2020.

Click To Read Fact-Checked Reports Busting Fake News And Misinformation Related To Elections 2024

What did we find?

A reverse image search of the viral picture led us to a YouTube video uploaded by MoneyControl — a news outlet part of the Network 18 media group — on October 8, 2020. The video was titled “IPL 2020 | Chennai Super Kings Reach 6 Million Followers On Twitter.” Around ten seconds minutes into the video, we can see the exact now-viral picture of MS Dhoni. The overlaid text here said, “Celebrating this feat, the account posted a snap of the team’s captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni holding 6 fingers.” Dhoni has been associated with CSK for more than a decade and was the team skipper for the longest time.

We also found the same image posted on CSK’s official X account on October 5, 2020. The caption read, “Nandri filled Thala Dharisanam as our Twitter fam becomes 6 Million Strong! #SixerOnTwitter #WhistlePodu #Yellove. (sic)”

The same day, the account also posted a video showing different players of the CSK team joining in for the celebration. The caption noted, “Chennai Super #SixerOnTwitter! A big thanks to all the super fans for each and every bouquet and brickbat throughout the last decade. All the #yellove to you. #WhistlePodu.” In the video, we can see players making similar hand gestures, holding six fingers up for the cameras, just as Dhoni did in the viral picture.

Furthermore, we also looked into the archives of CSK’s account and found a screenshot captured from October 10, 2020. It showed that the account had 6.6 million followers till then. An archive from seven days before this date shows that the account had 5.99 million followers, which means that the account hit six million followers between October 3 and 10. 

 

Screenshot of the archive captured on October 10, 2020. (Source: Internet Archive/Screenshot)
Screenshot of the archive captured on October 10, 2020. (Source: Internet Archive/Screenshot)

Moreover, the cricketer has never publicly endorsed or campaigned for any political outfit. 

The verdict

An image of MS Dhoni celebrating Chennai Super Kings’ official account reaching the six-million follower milestone on X in 2020 has been shared with the false claim that he urged people to vote for Congress in the ongoing 2024 Indian Lok Sabha elections. Therefore, we have marked the claim as false. 

This report first appeared on logicallyfacts.com, and has been republished on ABP Live as part of a special arrangement. Apart from the headline, no changes have been made in the report by ABP Live.

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