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Fact Check: The viral petrol bill asking people to 'not vote Modi' is fake

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The viral petrol bill with a text asking people not to vote Modi is fake. The name of the dealer and fuel station seen in the bill is also not real. 

In the backdrop of escalating petrol and diesel prices in the country, an image of a petrol bill purportedly by an 'HPL' dealer named Sai Balaji Petroleum in Mumbai’s Vikhroli is being widely shared on social media platforms showing a text along with the image that asks readers to not vote for Prime Minister Narendra Modi the next time if they want reduced petrol prices.

A Facebook user shared the image with a caption saying, "Don't Vote Modi again."

The text along on the image reads “If you want to reduce the petrol price don’t vote for Modi again”.

Several other Facebook users are also sharing this image. 

A Twitter user wrote, "If you want to reduce Petrol, Diesel and LPG cylinder prices.., Don't Vote Modi and BJP alliances again. RT if u agree."

The truth behind the claim 

In our investigation, we found this claim to be false. The viral image of the fuel bill in circulation is fake. Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) - India's public sector oil and gas company - also clarified on their official Twitter handle that the bill is not real and does not follow their bill format. 

On analyzing the viral image, one can see the date mentioned on the bill is of the year 2018 and shows the name of Sai Balaji Petroleum is as an “HPL” dealer. However, we found that there is no such petroleum company in India. The abbreviation of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited is HPCL and not HPL.

On searching the fuel stations by the name of Sai Balaji Petroleum in Mumbai’s Vikhroli we couldn’t find any petrol pump by that name.

The inconsistent font size and style of the bill is also unlike the original bill. 

In response to one such tweet, HPCL took to Twitter on February 23, 2021, clarifying that the format of the viral bill in question does not match with the format of the bill followed by the company’s dealers. It also stated that the company’s name has been wrongly mentioned as HPL in it.

HPCL wrote, "Bill in question is a fake bill which has nothing to do with HPCL. The fake bill has Company name given as "HPL" and has been floating in digital medium since long, with malafide intentions. Real bill format by HPCL is attached for reference. @dpradhanbjp @PetroleumMin @OfficeDp"

In conclusion, the viral petrol bill with a text asking people not to vote Modi is fake. The name of the dealer and fuel station seen in the bill is also not real. 

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