The Congress party is yet again under the spotlight, after a new ‘defame PM Modi’ toolkit surfaced on social media. The four-page document titled, “Cornering Narendra Modi & Covid Mismanagement” contained plans to discredit the PM Cares fund. Questions are now being raised whether the strategy highlighted in the toolkit to defame the Covid relief trust has already been in action.
Directives of the toolkit to defame PM CARES Fund
As per the ‘defame PM Modi’ toolkit that has now gone viral, a strategy highlighted by the document bears an uncanny resemblance to the online backlash received by both cricketer Pat Cummins and Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama.
“If any celebrity donates to PMCARES, then aggressively question them. If they are on social media, then use Congress social media department to embarrass them,” reads Section II(b) of the toolkit. The online bullying faced by the two ‘celebrities’ by both small and influential Twitter users have raised questions whether the nefarious plans outlined in the toolkit was already in action.
The PM CARES Fund was set up in March 2020 as the Chinese coronavirus pandemic raged across the world. The PM CARES Fund is an emergency fund that was set up to provide relief to those affected by the Wuhan Coronavirus. The PM CARES, or the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund has been set up as a public charitable trust. The Prime Minister is the chairman of this trust and its members include Defence Minister, Home Minister And Finance Minister.
Pat Cummins trolled
On April 26, Australian cricketer Pat Cummins took to Twitter to announce that he had donated AUD 50,000 to the PM CARES Fund, specifically for the purchase of oxygen supplies. However, within a few hours, he was bullied and subjected to online harassment. Verified profiles on the microblogging site began casting aspersions on the credibility of PM CARES fund. Some claimed that the funds would be used by the BJP to fight elections while others alleged that the funds are mismanaged.
A self-identified Congress supporter informed Pat Cummins that his generosity was “immensely appreciated” but he had given it to the “wrong hands”. Then, the person baselessly claimed that the PM Cares Fund was “mainly used for winning elections”.
A few days later, the ace cricketer announced that he had relocated his donation to UNICEF Australia from the PM CARES fund. While Pat Cummins did not touch upon how the social media outrage had impacted his decision, it was evident from the tweets pestering him to donate to other charities.
Dalai Lama targeted for donating to PM CARES fund
Last month, the Tibetan spiritual leader in exile, Dalai Lama, had pledged to donate to the PM Cares Fund from the Dalai Lama Trust. The announcement was a welcome move to strengthen India’s fight against the pandemic. But the spiritual leader, who has been living in India since 1959, was soon subjected to online abuse. “Donate to individuals, not through PM-Cares, please,” wrote one user.
Donate to individuals, not through PM-Cares please.— Arivumani Ravanan (@Arivumani) April 27, 2021
Another user claimed that the funds may not reach those who actually need it. “Instead of contributing to PM-CARES, much beneficial either to donate medical equipments, establish temporary Covid hospitals, contribute towards free meals to the affected. Donation may not reach who actually needs it,” wrote another user.
Instead of contributing to PM-CARES, much beneficial either to donate medical equipments, establish temporary Covid hospitals, contribute towards free meals to the affected. Donation may not reach who actually needs it.— Rakesh (@rakesh_das01) April 27, 2021
The Congress party has claimed that the toolkit is “fake” and has threatened legal action for it. OpIndia could not independently verify the authenticity of the toolkit.