On Sunday evening, verified Twitter handle of “Bahujan Samaj Party” tweeted (now deleted) a poster, which called for the Opposition to come together and stay united in support of “social justice”.
In the above image, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav, former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Yadav, JD-U rebel leader Sharad Yadav, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Congress President Sonia Gandhi are seen together while Mayawati towers a little over them.
The poster was supposed to signal opposition unity, however, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal were missing from it. Though, not the first time Arvind Kejriwal has not been included in the Opposition, even though he has been very vocally anti-BJP.
Nonetheless, the poster created curiosity if it was an official statement of some sort of ‘mahagathbandhan’ for the 2019 polls. Soon it was picked up by news channels, who credited Mayawati for a call for opposition unity. BSP currently has zero seats in Lok Sabha, 6 seats in Rajya Sabha, and 19 seats in 2017 Assembly Elections in Uttar Pradesh:
BSP chief, Mayawati, calls for opposition to come together against the NDA government. Watch details. pic.twitter.com/h66UaEnSvZ
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) August 21, 2017
Even before the debate could be taken further, there comes a news that the BSP has disowned the verified handle, which was often quoted as official BSP handle during the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. Party supreme Mayawati herself said that the party had no official Twitter presence.
Following these statements, the ‘bio’ of the concerned Twitter account was changed:
The Twitter handle @BspUp2017, which is verified and thus was always assumed as an official channel of communication, quickly changed the bio to add the disclaimer that it is a fan account, and not an official account.
Soon questions were raised if that wasn’t really the official handle, why did it get the blue tick from Twitter verifying it?
Dear @BspUp2017 , if you aren’t an official Twitter handle, then what’s that blue tick doing there ?
— Sanket Upadhyay (@sanket) August 21, 2017
And why was it not clarified during the UP elections held earlier this year? But it seems like Twitter has started verifying “official fan” accounts too. More power to the Saifians and SRKWarriors.
UPDATE: The said Twitter handle has now vanished. It appears that it has been deactivated for the time being.