Priyanka Gandhi Vadra took to Twitter today in order to denounce and condemn the Central Government for apparent non-payment of outstanding dues to sugarcane farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri. In her tweet, Mrs. Vadra took note of a sugarcane farmer named Alok Mishra and declared that he hasn’t been paid his outstanding dues. In the tweet quoting a report by Gaon Connection, Mrs. Vadra clearly stated that Alok Mishra has an outstanding payment of Rs. 6 lakhs due to him.
लखीमपुर खीरी के किसान आलोक मिश्रा का 6 लाख रु का गन्ना भुगतान बकाया है। उनको खेती, इलाज आदि के लिए 3 लाख का लोन लेना पड़ा।— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) February 17, 2021
10,000 करोड़ का भुगतान फंसा होने के चलते यूपी के लाखों किसानों का यही हाल है। 14 दिन में भुगतान एवं आय दुगनी का वादा जुमला निकला।https://t.co/Tuv3dMFUa5
However, the story took an interesting turn when Rubika Liyaquat, TV news host for ABP News, reported that the sugarcane farmer Alok Mishra himself has an issue with Mrs. Vadra’s tweet. After finding out about his reference being used by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in order to score political points, Alok Mishra made it perfectly clear that he has received his payment dues from the sugar mill for last year i.e. 2020. In a criticism of Mrs. Vadra, Alok Mishra said, “Priyanka ji has to do her politics, and she will do it. But she should’ve at least seen the entire news before speaking out.”
After the farmer set the record straight on Mrs. Vadra’s unfounded tweet, the official Twitter account of INC Uttar Pradesh mobilized on Twitter in order to shield her. In a now-deleted tweet, the INC Uttar Pradesh account accused Rubika Liyaquat of mischaracterizing Mrs. Vadra’s initial tweet, prompting a reply from the ABP journalist with the video of Alok Mishra himself castigating Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. This pressured the official INC Uttar Pradesh account to delete its tweet accusing the journalist of any malpractice.
In the Gaon Connection article itself which Mrs. Vadra had cited, Alok Mishra is quoted as saying, “Last year whatever my outstanding dues were, were paid this year by the Khamaria Sugar Mill”. Therefore Alok Mishra’s advice to Priyanka Gandhi Vadra of ‘reading the full news’ makes perfect sense. It is highly probable that this faux pass on the part of Mrs. Vadra was because either her or someone in her social media team just read the headline and the first paragraph from the Goan Connection article and went with it.
It is also notable that while the article by Gaon Connection states that Alok Mishra has received the payment from the sugar mill, the article still mentioned in the headline that he had due amount of Rs 6 lakh to be received.