So-called IT cells of most political parties are engaged to trending hashtags on Twitter or pushing out some information of the party on the social media. This is especially true for BJP. However, the IT cells of Congress and AAP go beyond this routine and rather insipid role – they spread rumours, photoshopped pictures, and engage in targeted attacks on people not agreeing with them.
While the mainstream media had often accused the BJP of indulging in such acts, surprisingly, or not so surprisingly, they have kept mum over repeated instances of such behaviour by the Congress and AAP IT cells.
We had earlier reported how AAP targets dissenters on social media and how Congress spreads photoshopped pics and lies. Congress has done it again now, this time trying to discredit BJP over its “surgical strike” on domestic black money.
Twitter user named Gaurav Pandhi, who by his Twitter bio is a “Nehruvian Congressman” and part of the digital communication at the Indian National Congress, today spread a rumour that not only had false information, but was defamatory to many people.
He tweeted that a certain Nalini Maurya, apparently the daughter of UP BJP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya, was found holding Rs 10 lakh in new Rs 2000 notes.
Through the tweet, he tried to insinuate that people related to BJP were being allowed to break the rule where one is not allowed to withdraw or exchange more than 10,000 rupees in one go, and that this could be being used for upcoming Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.
This was a serious accusation that not only suggested that people related to the BJP were being favoured by banks, but that the government’s attempt to curb black money was compromised and the ruling party was indulging in cash hoarding.
However, it didn’t take more than a few minutes to find out that the Congress IT cell member was propagating a blatant lie.
The election affidavit (pdf link) of Keshav Prasad Maurya as well as his profile on the Lok Sabha website mentions that he has two sons and no daughters. It should be noted that any wrong information in the affidavit can lead to disqualification of an MP.
So it was clear that the information claimed in the tweet by Gaurav Pandhi was a lie. Apart from that, it was defamatory not only to Keshav Prasad Maurya, but to the unidentified girl too, whose picture was being circulated as daughter of a politician holding cash through unethical means.
The Congress IT cell member realised that his defamatory tweet could land him in trouble, and after some time he deleted his tweet. However, he didn’t publicly apologise or clarify.
Most probably because his job was done? The lie was spread, and as you read this, most probably it is being circulated as a fact on WhatsApp and Facebook (see this) by AAP and Congress volunteers. In fact, it is being spread even on Twitter through other accounts such as this one:
Nalini Maurya d/o BJP UP chief Keshav Maurya with 10 Lakh new 2000 notes.
This when you cant withdraw >10k/ week & can’t exchange >4k/ day? https://t.co/yiA9JsgY3i
— Mo Rizwan Azad (@MoRizwanAzad) November 10, 2016
This defamation of the girl comes at a time when banks have been told to extend working hours and also work on weekends to help the common man exchange the old notes. The girl most probably works in a bank and was holding the new 2000 rupees note bundle that would be used to help people exchange their old notes.
This is confirmed by a close look at the picture, which shows that the girl is holding the bundle from Jhandewalan chest in Delhi, and not somewhere in Uttar Pradesh:
Notes of 2000 rs. had reached the currency chests of banks before 8th. photo has the stamp of jhandewalan chest. Employee pic. Stop rumors pic.twitter.com/7t9WxEMpJD
— shilpi tewari (@shilpitewari) November 10, 2016