Parody political party Aam Aadmi Party is back at providing comic relief as the tensions run high before the 2019 Lok Sabha election results are out. And it is not just AAP Chief Arvind Kejriwal’s conspiracy theory that PM Modi wants him assassinated.
AAP social media team member one Savita Anand shared a video on her Twitter account yesterday where a foreigner-looking lady is reading out a ‘news bulleting’ about India’s elections. In the video, the ‘journalist’ is speaking on the EVM fraud taking place in the period between the polling and counting.
अंतर्राष्ट्रीय मीडिया मे खुलासा – मोदी ने हारा हुआ चुनाव जीतने के लिए 200 लोकसभा सीटो पर ईवीएम चेंज करवा दी है! अगर ये सच है, तो सड़कों पर उतरने के लिए तैयार रहें। बड़ा आंदोलन होगा, तानाशाही के खिलाफ। pic.twitter.com/aX1kEuhqiC
— Savita Anand (@savita_aap) May 20, 2019
Anand shares a video with a caption that says ‘international media’ has revealed that to win the 200 Lok Sabha seats the BJP is losing in these elections, the EVMs are getting changed and replaced so that on the day of counting BJP would win. She then adds that if this is true, protests will break out across the country.
Other than the fact that the above statement can be considered as a call for violence, there are a few more issues with the video shared.
Let us begin with the video itself. The lady from something called ‘TNN’ (which stands for Tricolour News Network) and has highly placed sources within the government.
In the two-minute-long video, she says, “TNN has received authentic and genuine information from its source within the government of India who have confirmed that EVM machines which were used in the election process on which people have voted will be changed over in the strong rooms to the ones which BJP has prepared for them to win the elections by malice. Post 19th May when every political party and person will be relaxing, after the long seven-phase elections which happened over seven weeks, the switching over of the EVMs in the strong rooms will happen at this time under the watch of the BJP sympathisers within the government and its supporters.”
The lady then adds, “The following states are being targetted for the switchover of the EVMs. West Bengal, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Kerala. TNN will explain when each of these states are being targeted, when did the BJP start planning this campaign to make people believe that the voting happened in their favour. The state of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have been left out as it will raise suspicion amongst the people of the malpractice by the BJP of changing the EVM machines. The sentiment in both states is that the BJP will suffer heavy losses and hence they have been kept out. The BJP is targeting those states where they have been playing that they will win from all sort of media to give it the genuineness and credibility because it has been mentioned by them time and again in the media.”
She explains, “In Kerala, the issue of Sabarimala temple have been going on since December 2018. On 2nd January 2019, two women Bindu and Kanaka Durga entered the temple after the Supreme Court ruled in the favour that women being allowed in the temple. It was then that the BJP started their campaign…” The video gets truncated at this point.
OpIndia looked up on YouTube to find a longer video, and it is an 8-minute long video posted on a YouTube channel which has a total number of 350 subscribers by the time of this report.
Before we discuss more on Tricolour News Network, let us discuss the content of the video. The lady who claims to be a jouranalist is reading out a script which claims that EVMs will be switched over by the BJP in the 3 days between polling and counting. The lady is not providing any proof for her theory, except the ‘our sources in the government’, she mentions in her monologue. That alone should be enough proof to reject this video as fearmongering.
However, from the manner in which the entire script is written, it shows that it is written by someone who knows the Indian politics. Because, clearly, a non-descript, unnamed, random lady with golden hair wouldn’t talk like this. The lady mentions that these ‘switching over’ of EVMs will take place in West Bengal, Karnataka, Odisha, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. All these states are the states which have a non-BJP government in power. The rest of the video summarises various conspiracy theories on why the BJP might gain a few more seats in the states.
The entire video talks about the conspiracy and also contains a warning to save the nation from Modi-Shah duo. The propaganda video ends with ‘Save India Save Yourself Jai Hind’ call.
Amusingly, in the later part of the video, the lady states that no one else is talking about the ‘plan’ because Modi and Amit Shah ‘hatched it’ and it has been in complete secrecy. Till the random lady with golden hair got hold of the plan through sources in the government. Last time such random publication made claims of having highly placed sources in the PMO, it turned out to be fake news. Not only was the website dubious and used soft-porn to drive traffic, their Facebook page was also an Arshi Khan fan page before it started getting ‘scoops’ from inside the PMO.
We at OpIndia got very excited to find out more about this ‘Tricolour News Network’ in hopes that it may be a ‘Handsome Manish Sisodia’ fan page converted into ‘Tricolour News Network’ and we would have some laughs. Unfortunately, there was no Handsome Sisodia to be found.
Tricolour News Network has less than 1000 likes on Facebook page.
Tricolour News Network is run by one ‘Diana Biciin’, who as per her Facebook page lives in London.
Twitter user Saket Suryesh compiled various information on Diana and the dubious ‘news network’ on Twitter.
The channel being quoted by the SM in-charge of #AAP to claim EVM fraud, here was founded in UK on 29th November 2018. Ms Diana Irina Biciin is the director and a Rumanian citizen. Cc: @UnSubtleDesi @nirwamehta https://t.co/7J60nwYQgp pic.twitter.com/B6Ps3PqwM0
— saket suryesh ?? (@saket71) May 20, 2019
Diana Biciin is a Romanian national and as per Companies House, UK, is a Director in two companies. 1. Eva’s Tantric Massages Limited and 2. Tricolour News Network Limited. Eva’s Tantric Massages (link NSFW) are ‘sensual’ massages which ‘trained’ women offer for a fee. OpIndia has written to Eva’s Tantric Massages if it has any connection with Diana Biciin. We shall update the report once we hear back from them.
Tricolour News Network had earlier hit the headlines in March this year when the Opposition leaders like Kapil Sibal, Ghulam Nabi Azad and others had held a press conference and released a ‘sting video’ shot by the same dubious Tricolour News Network which showed an alleged BJP functionary purportedly exchanging scrapped notes after demonetisation on a 40% commission. Amusingly, Kapil Sibal-backed channel’s name is ‘Tiranga TV’ which means tricolour in Hindi.
When asked whether Sibal had verified the sting and the allegations, he had then squarely put the blame on Tricolour News Network. The company, “Tricolour News Network Limited” has a registered address at “20-22 Wenlock Road, London, England, N1 7GU” which is the address of ‘Companies Formation Made Simple’ which offers ‘registered office service’ by which the actual address could remain masked while the publicly the above address is displayed. Dozens of companies, many of which dummy companies, are registered at this address.
Earlier we had shown how Congress President Rahul Gandhi had used such dubious address for registering Bristol Legal Services Limited, his UK based company and how it shared the same address with Ajitabh Bachchan’s company.
Going back to Tricolour News Network, another person associated with the dubious channel is one Kristin Stein, who is an ‘actress/journalist/presenter’ as per her various social media profiles. Her LinkedIn profile shows her as a journalist with Tricolour News Network.
Now, here’s another twist.
There are two separate website: tnn.world and tricolourtv.com. Tricolourtv.com eventually redirects you to tnn.world. However, TNN world has its privacy settings masked and and Tricolour TV is registered in Arizona, US.
Someone has clearly gone lengths to protect the privacy behind these two dubious websites.
So who is it who is trying to create this panic just 2 days before the counting begins? Who is to gain by spreading these conspiracy theories? Who are spreading these conspiracy theories as absolute truth?
In a country which celebrates democracy, such plants tarnish the image to no extent. People’s faith in democracy gets shaken when the lies about EVM and their tampering are spread like these, especially when political parties, who know about the falsehood, indulge in such rumourmongering because they appear on the losing side.
No such EVM tampering theories were floated when BJP lost the state assembly elections in December last year. No one gave calls for bloodshed like the ‘United Opposition’ leaders are currently giving. This is unbecoming of our publicly elected representatives.