With Congress finding itself mired in the toolkit fiasco, it is using the police in its controlled states to take the attack against the BJP leaders. In this context, the Raipur police in Congress-ruled Chattisgarh on Friday issued a notice to former state CM Raman Singh asking him to remain at his residence on Monday for questioning in connection with the toolkit that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said was used by the Congress party to malign PM Modi.
On Wednesday this week, a case was registered in Raipur against Singh and other BJP leaders for allegedly promoting enmity by spreading news related to the toolkit. The case was filed on the complaint of Akash Sharma, the chief of Congress’ student wing National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) in the state, under Indian Penal Code’s Sections including 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace).
In his complaint, Sharma has accused the BJP leaders of forging, fabricating and manufacturing the toolkit document on the letterhead of the AICC Research Department. The complaint mentioned that the toolkit, which was meant to spread via social media had the “potential of creating communal discord, unrest in the country”. He blamed the BJP for using the documents “to spread fake news” that had the potential of “inciting violence and fuelling hatred”.
Police officers privy to the development said they wanted to question Singh about where he got the alleged Congress’ documents from, about the communication between him and others regarding the use of the hashtag #CongressToolkitExposed on social media platforms.
The BJP criticised the Congress party for registering the case and issuing a notice to Singh. The saffron party dubbed the move as a desperate attempt by the Congress party to save its face. “The case against Raman Singh is politically motivated and absolutely fake. The Chhattisgarh Police are working under pressure and hence served the notice,” said Gauri Shankar Srivas, a BJP spokesperson.
Congress toolkit fiasco
On May 18, a toolkit had surfaced on the internet that entailed point-by-point instructions for the Congress workers for attacking the Modi government. From maligning the Kumbh Mela and describing it as ‘super spreader’ to using international media and ‘friendly’ journalists to defame PM Modi, to blocking beds and hoarding other essential supplies for favourable social media PR, the content of the toolkit included a range of directives for the loyal Congress leaders and supporters to be followed to paint PM Modi and his government’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak in a bad light.
Congress swiftly dissociated itself from the document, calling it “fake” and threatening the BJP with legal action. It even got propaganda outlet AltNews to conduct a ‘fact-check’ about the authenticity of the document, which in turn came up with ludicrous justifications and flimsy arguments to declare the toolkit to be “forged” and give a clean chit to the Congress party. The shoddy ‘fact-check’ only added to the growing suspicions of Congress’ involvement in creating and disseminating the toolkit document.