Propaganda website Alt News, which had come with a lousy fact-check to peddle misinformation against Prime Minister Modi on the vaccination procurement policy, has once again tied itself in a knot after the self-proclaimed fact-checking website quietly edited its earlier fact-check report, only to expose the opposition parties furthermore.
On Thursday, Islamist propaganda website Alt News, which often works as an extension of Congress IT cell, had come up with a so-called fact-check of Prime Minister’s recent speech where he had asserted that the states, especially the one ruled by the opposition parties, had pressurised them for a decentralised vaccine procurement policy. Addressing the nation on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced free Covid-19 vaccination for all above 18 years of age and had declared that the country would revert to a system of centralised procurement of vaccines against Covid-19, where the centre will procure vaccines from manufacturers and provide it to the states for free.
During his address, PM Modi had slammed the politicisation of the vaccination drive, especially by the opposition-ruled states, who constantly altered their policies on vaccination drive, thus creating added pressure on the centre to liberalise the vaccine procurement. In his address, PM Modi had mentioned how the centre has allowed states to purchase vaccines from manufacturers directly after some states had pressured the centre to decentralise vaccine policy, and explained how the “decentralisation” process as demanded by the opposition states had utterly failed, thus prompting them to reconsider the decision.
As PM Modi spoke about the constant politicisation of vaccine drive in the country, Alt News took an offence against him and had come up with an alleged fact-check claiming that he was lying about the decentralised vaccination procurement system as no opposition leaders have demanded the same. It had instead claimed that the state governments had asked the government to centralise the vaccination process.
In defence of the same, Alt News had presented selective information to claim that the state governments had never asked for a decentralised vaccination programme in the first place.
OpIndia exposes lies by Alt News
However, OpIndia had investigated the false claims put out by Alt News and had found out that the alleged fact-checkers had selectively put up facts to claim that the opposition party-ruled states had never demanded the centre to decentralise the entire process of vaccine procurement.
In a hurry to discredit PM Modi and centre’s vaccination policy, the Alt News had come up with a report filled with misinformation. In doing so, the alleged fact-checkers had exposed the opposition parties in their so-called fact-check report by putting out all the relevant facts to show how opposition states were demanding the decentralisation of vaccine procurement.
As OpIndia pointed out all the glaring errors, Alt News has silently edited its previous article. In the edited article, Alt News has now added statements put out by Gandhi-scion Rahul Gandhi, which they had earlier deliberately missed, to claim that PM Modi had indeed lied about the decentralised vaccine procurement. In addition to Rahul Gandhi, Alt News has also added statements made by DMK chief MK Stalin favouring decentralised vaccine procurement.
Alt News quietly adds Rahul Gandhi, Stalin’s statement on “decentralised” vaccination procurement
In its latest edit, Alt News has quietly added Rahul Gandhi’s statements where he had demanded that state governments have a greater say in Covid-19 vaccine procurement. Even though Alt News has missed most of the important statements put out by Rahul Gandhi in favour of the decentralisation of vaccine, it has now included a part of Rahul Gandhi’s statements in the latest edit.
“Even though public health is a state subject, our states have been bypassed right from vaccine procurement to registration,” the Alt News quoted Rahul Gandhi letter in the latest edition.
In addition to this, Alt News has also added statements put out by DMK Stalin where he had asked the centre to procure vaccines and begin a free, universal mass vaccination campaign across the country. Even though he was not an elected Chief Minister when he wrote the letter to PM Modi, the chief of DMK, who eventually became the CM a month later, had said that it was equally important to allow independent procurement of drugs, vaccines and medical equipment by the state governments.
In the earlier report, Alt News had conveniently missed adding DMK chief Stalin’s statements and had ignored his constant effort to pressurise the centre to decentralise vaccine procurement is not a reality for the alleged fact-checkers.
However, after getting exposed for its biased ‘fact-check’, Alt News has now quietly altered its original report to add both Rahul Gandhi’s and DMK Chief Stalin’s statement in support of decentralisation of vaccine procurement.
In the above statements put out Rahul Gandhi and DMK Stalin, one can clearly see how both batted for decentralised procurement of vaccines. However, for Alt News, it is not a statement in support of vaccine decentralisation.
Alt News yet again omits Mamata Banerjee’ letters to the centre demanding decentralisation
Even though it has managed to add statements of Rahul Gandhi and MK Stalin, after omitting them from its previous report, Alt News has yet again failed to add letters put out by Mamata Banerjee and the Maharashtra government in support of decentralisation of vaccine procurement. Mamata Banerjee had written three letters to PM Modi demanding decentralised procurement. However, Alt News has failed to mention it in its ‘fact-check’ even after updating it.
Even in its latest edit, the earlier glaring errors still persist, and Alt News has not done any due diligence to correct its massive blunders.
Ironically, despite all the latest edits, Alt News continues to proclaim that PM Modi had indeed lied about the decentralised vaccine policy. As per Alt News, out of the 30 states, 18 are controlled by the BJP directly or through a coalition and barring statements of two Chief Ministers, there are no reports of states wanting to purchase vaccines.
It seems like requests from Mamata Banerjee, Rahul Gandhi, the Maharashtra government, and Stalin does not matter for Alt News. It goes on to declare that PM Modi was cherry-picking statements of some of the Chief Ministers to blame them for the decentralised process of vaccine procurement. So, PM Modi was lying as per Alt News.
Even as the statements added by Alt News clearly shows that it was the state government that pressurised the centre to alter its policy on vaccination to liberalise the procurement drive, Alt News seems to think their alleged fact-check is still error-free.
Alt News continues to spread misinformation
This is not the first time that Alt News has been caught red-handedly for spreading misinformation, especially by indulging in the glaring act of selective commission and omission of facts to suit its narrative.
A few weeks back, the so-called fact-checker Alt News had come up with a similar ‘fact-check’ to whitewash the allegations against the Congress party in the toolkit controversy. The toolkit document, allegedly linked to the Congress party, had got leaked on social media recently, which entailed a detailed plan of action for the Congress leaders and supporters to exploit the ongoing Covid-19 crisis in the country and target the Modi government.
The instructions issued in the Congress toolkit contained all-encompassing and extensive directives to launch a formidable attack against the Modi government when they are engrossed in defeating the raging pandemic. The toolkit expose had created a storm across the country, fuelling massive anger against the Congress party. As accusations against the Congress party grew louder, the party had entailed the services of the propaganda website Alt News to give a clean chit for themselves.
Following the instructions, Alt News hurriedly came up with a ‘fact-check’ report to call it a forged document and blamed BJP and its supporters for spreading misinformation against the Congress party. However, Alt News had yet again done a very poor job in whitewashing the allegations against the Congress party as they had come up with some dubious analysis and ludicrous arguments to claim that the document allegedly prepared by AICC Research Department is a forged one.
Here is a detailed report exposing how propaganda outlet Alt News came with a flawed and laughable logic to wash the sins of the Congress party. As OpIndia pointed out glaring errors in their fact-check, Alt News had then too quietly edited out most of the report to give another clean-chit to the Congress party. The latest edit that Alt News had carried out had only exposed the lies of Congress party in the toolkit fiasco, leaving the grand old party more embarrassed.