In an attempt to discredit Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, assorted Twitter handles bearing allegiance to the Congress party, including official Twitter handles of the state Congress units and Congress functionaries, launched a well-coordinated social media campaign to trend #Yogi_Ka_Ghotalaraaj on the micro-blogging website on Tuesday.
Irregularities in the recruitment process of 69,000 assistant teachers in Uttar Pradesh
The social media campaign launched by the Congress party was in regard to the recruitment process of 69,000 assistant teachers that was allegedly plagued with gross irregularities such as several candidates at two examination centres with the exact same marks, a topper who couldn’t name India’s President and a host of arrests for allegedly cheating.
While the UP CM had constituted a Special Task Force(STF) to probe the allegations of widespread rigging in the examinations of the for teacher posts in the state’s primary schools, it has not stopped the Congress party from accusing the Yogi Adityanath government of indulging in malpractices and corruption.
Senior Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra termed the alleged scam as “UP’s Vyapam”, a reference to the medical recruitment scam in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh.
Earlier this month, Priyanka tweeted, “The scam in recruitment of 69,000 teachers is UP’s Vyapam scam. The facts about the matter reveal that the irregularities in the case are not common. Diary entries related to student names, monetary transactions, large-scale manipulation in examination centres etc. denote the involvement of a well-oiled racket in this scandal. The entire information also shows that the racket’s links are connected to many (higher) places.”
69000 शिक्षक भर्ती घोटाला उप्र का व्यापम घोटाला है। इस मामले में गड़बड़ी के तथ्य सामान्य नहीं हैं। डायरियों में स्टूडेंट्स के नाम, पैसे का लेनदेन, परीक्षा केंद्रों में बड़ी हेरफेर, इन गड़बड़ियों में रैकेट का शामिल होना – ये सब दर्शाता है कि इसके तार काफी जगहों पर जुड़े हैं। 1/2— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) June 8, 2020
The Supreme Court had on 9 June stayed the recruitment of 37,339 of the 69,000 vacancies but permitted the government to fill up the remaining 31,661 seats. Later on June 13, the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad court lifted the stay on the appointed of 69,000 assistant teachers in Uttar Pradesh, provided the state government reserved 37,339 jobs for Siksha Mitras, who are currently holding temporary jobs, in compliance with the June 9 order of the apex court and till the top court passes a final verdict.
The High Court’s partial lifting of the interim stay did not sit well with the Congress party who upped the ante to corner the Yogi Adityanath government which is currently engrossed in tackling the coronavirus spread in the state. Various Congress functionaries, official Congress Twitter handles of different groups and state units and Congress supporters on Twitter started tweeting with #Yogi_Ka_Ghotalaraaj to sully the integrity of the Yogi Adityanath government and project it as an administration steeped in corruption.
The UP Congress’s Twitter account listed down a host of alleged scam that the Yogi government had presided over in Uttar Pradesh. A graphical image shared by the UP Congress mentions recruitment of 69,000 teachers, PDS scam, PWD scam, School shoes and socks scam, DHFL scam, Homeguard scam and Panchayati Raj scam to allege that the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh is neck-deep in corruption. The tweet was shared with the hashtag #Yogi_Ka_Ghotalaraaj.
Tweeting with the hashtag #Yogi_Ka_Ghotalaraaj, the official Twitter handle of Chhattisgarh Congress unit raised questions over the transfer of IPS Prayagraj who was instrumental in exposing the large-scale rigging in the recruitment process of 69,000 teachers in Uttar Pradesh. The INC Chhattisgarh Twitter account also shared an infographic depicting the IPS officer and Yogi Adityanath which read, “Yogi has just one job-to dismiss the honest and safeguard the corrupt”.
Yogi government promised jobs to the youth but when it comes down to giving them employment, the IPS who blew the whistle on the scam on more than 69000 positions was transferred. All this in the land of Lord Rama!#Yogi_Ka_Ghotalaraaj— INC Chhattisgarh (@INCChhattisgarh) June 16, 2020
Even Congress functionaries heeded to the propaganda campaign organised to besmirch the Yogi government. NSUI General Secretary Vishal Chaudhary took to Twitter to claim that the UP government promised the youth to provide employment but when one of the IPS officers blew the whistle on the faulty recruitment process of 69,000 teachers, he was transferred by the state government.
Yogi government promised jobs to the youth but when it comes down to giving them employment, the IPS who blew the whistle on the scam on more than 69000 positions was transferred. #Yogi_Ka_Ghotalaraaj— Vishal Chaudhary 🇮🇳 (@VishalcINC) June 16, 2020
Another Congress functionary Ashok Singh tweeted that the transfer of the IPS officer who brought to the light the teacher recruitment process reveals that the UP BJP government along with CM Yogi Adityanath are involved in the scam.
Yogi Adityanath has suspended the officer who had exposed the entire teacher recruitment scam, it shows that the UP BJP Govt and CM Yogi is involved in this scam. #Yogi_Ka_Ghotalaraaj pic.twitter.com/71ntiqeWDS— Ashok Singh (@AshokSinghINC) June 16, 2020
Jitendra Mall, the National Social Media Coordinator of the NSUI, shared an infographic with the hashtag #Yogi_Ka_Ghotalaraaj and contended that it’s a norm under the BJP rule to threaten and subdue the whistleblowers with suspensions and transfers.
It’s the norm of indifferent treatment of whistleblowers under BJP governments to threaten and subdue them with suspensions and transfers .@INCUttarPradesh— Jitendra Mall Official (@JITENDRAMal_INC) June 16, 2020
The official Twitter account of NSUI Uttarakhand also partook in the social media campaign by sharing an infographic that read “Under the Yogi rule, the education department has become a hub of corruption” along with the hashtag #Yogi_Ka_Ghotalaraaj.
Besides, a raft of Congress functionaries and Congress supporters on Twitter posted a flurry of tweets in this regard along with a wide range of infographics, presumably in an attempt to trend the hashtag #Yogi_Ka_Ghotalaraaj.
Truth about the social media campaign
While the Congress leaders and functionaries would have us believe that the social media campaign on Twitter exposing the alleged corruption of the Yogi government was entirely organic and spontaneous, the document accessed by OpIndia reveals that the social media campaign was a well-coordinated attempt by the Congress IT cell to malign the perception of Yogi Adityanath and his government on social media.
Services of a Digital marketing organisation–Kunsh Digital were availed by the Congress IT cell.
The above email instructing the Congress functionaries and IT cell members to launch a social media campaign on Twitter was sent by a Digital Marketing firm – Kunsh Digital, meaning that the social media campaign to besmirch the Yogi Adityanath government was professionally managed and the Congress IT cell must have presumably hired the agency for carrying out the vilification campaign against the Uttar Pradesh CM.
According to the email, specific instructions were issued by the Congress’ propaganda machinery to the IT cell warriors and party functionaries to tweet with the hashtag #Yogi_Ka_Ghotalaraaj along with the directive of using images attached in the email in the given time-slot. A list of sample statements targeting Yogi government on corruption was also provided to the online army of trolls which could be used by them in the tweets against the UP government. The members of the IT cell were issued particular instructions to retweet the tweets put out by the UP Congress and the INC Chhattisgarh Twitter account.
Drawing on from the list of samples and template tweets that could be used to target the Yogi Adityanath government, the online army summoned by the Congress IT cell followed the orders issued to them and unleashed its inorganic social media campaign against the Yogi Adityanath government.
The infographic images which were used by various Congress functionaries and the Congress IT cell army in their tweets were also attached in the mail with directives to be used in the tweets smearing the UP CM as venal.
Ever since Yogi Adityanath has assumed the mantle of Uttar Pradesh, he has been lauded for restoring law and order in a state that was conspicuously absent following Samajwadi party’s previous tenure in the state. Besides, Yogi government has also come forth as an administration averse to the depraved practices of corruption and graft. In addition, Yogi’s exceptional handling of the coronavirus crisis in a humongous state such as Uttar Pradesh speaks to the extraordinary leadership that he has displayed in the times of adversity.
The desperation of Congress IT cell to coordinate a social media campaign to cast the Yogi Adityanath as a corrupt chief minister speaks volumes about the unimpeachable integrity of the UP Government perceived by an average social media user. The deliberate attempt by the Congress IT cell to drag the Yogi Adityanath and his government through the mud prove that the charges of corruption against the UP government were so flimsy that the IT cell had to rely on the loyalty and obligation of its paid army rather than banking on the scandalous allegations for them to trend on Twitter organically.