The Times of India on the 11th of October published a report with the headline “40% Maharashtra BJP MLAs, 27% MPs fare poorly in party report card” where it was claimed that a survey had been commissioned by the BJP and conducted by ‘Chanakya’ which showed the performance of the MPs and MLAs of the party in the state.
Furthermore, it was claimed that 45 of its 121 MLAs and 6 of its 22 MPs were “in danger zone”. It was also reported that CM Fadnavis apparently made a point to these elected representatives that they better start working hard or the party will replace them with newer faces in 2019 elections. The report quoted unnamed sources to back up its assertions.
However, the Maharashtra unit of the BJP came out on Twitter and called the entire TOI report ‘Fake News’. They also said that it was not expected from a media outlet like TOI.
— महाराष्ट्र भाजपा (@BJP4Maharashtra) October 11, 2018
Today’s Chanakya, which is presumably the ‘Chanakya’ mentioned by TOI, came forward and asserted that they had not conducted any such survey.
This survey as mentioned in Times of India Mumbai 11 Oct edition is fake in our name & we have not done it. Thank you. https://t.co/zxX7GoHB9u
— Today’s Chanakya (@TodaysChanakya) October 12, 2018
It’s not the first time, however, that the Times of India has indulged in misleading journalism. The Indian Army has called them out for spreading misinformation that an army man had been arrested for burglary when in fact the culprit was a civilian employee at Military Engineering Services. TOI is also known to regurgitate Congress party’s lies without even the most basic fact-checking. The Air Traffic Controllers Guild wanted legal action to be taken against TOI for reports which they claimed deliberately tried to tarnish the image of Air Traffic Controllers and their profession.