Toolkit Row | Suspend BJP Leaders’ Accounts: Cong Tells Twitter
Congress’ Rajeev Gowda said that someone had forged a fake document by editing the party’s Central Vista document.
Congress on 19 May wrote to Twitter Inc, asking them to suspend accounts of several BJP leaders who shared the alleged Congress ‘toolkit’, claiming dissemination of false information.
Several police complaints have also been lodged against BJP leaders who shared the alleged Congress ‘toolkit’, claiming that the BJP had forged and fabricated the documents to divert attention from the Central government’s mismanagement of the COVID crisis.
A criminal complaint against BJP’s Sambit Patra was lodged at the Sansad Marg police station in Delhi by an Indian Youth Congress functionary on 20 May.
Another FIR was lodged against BJP’s National President JP Nadda, Union minister Smriti Irani, BJP General Secretary BL Santhosh, and Patra at Bajaj Nagar Police Station in Jaipur by Rajasthan Congress Secretary Jaswant Gurjar.
Permanently Suspend Twitter Accounts: Congress
In their complaint, Congress urged Twitter to carry out a detailed probe and permanently suspend the Twitter accounts of Nadda, Patra, Irani, Santhosh, and others.
The complaint drew the microblogging firm’s attention to “the gross misuse of the Twitter platform by the senior functionaries of the BJP, which has led to large-scale dissemination of false information and has the potential to cause social unrest in the country, amid the current pandemic”.
The complaint added that BJP leaders took part in “a pre-planned criminal conspiracy prepared a forged and fabricated the letterhead of the INC research department and thereafter printed certain mischievous, false and fabricated content on the same, for the purpose of dissemination through their official Twitter handles, with a clear intent to cause social unrest, communal disharmony in order to fuel heat and escalate violence in various parts of India (sic)”.
What’s the Toolkit Controversy?
On Tuesday, 18 May, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hit out at the Congress, alleging that the latter had intended to tarnish the image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Various BJP leaders shared the document on Twitter, to prove that the party’s agenda was “driven by hatred towards India”.
The alleged document – titled ‘Cornering Narendra Modi and BJP on COVID management’ – was printed on the Congress letterhead and asked people to show that ‘Kumbh is a show of political power in the name of religion while Eid gatherings are happy social gatherings’.
The document was shared by Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, Irani, Nadda, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, Patra, Shobha Karandlaje, Rajyavardhan Rathore, among others.
It was also amplified by several social media users, like right-wing websites OpIndia and Swarajya.
Did Cong Prepare a ‘Toolkit’ to Target Govt on COVID Management?
Speaking to The Quint, Chairman of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) research department Rajeev Gowda said that someone had forged a fake document by editing the genuine Central Vista document, which had been prepared by the party.
“They got hold of the Central Vista document first and then they modelled the fake document on that, but they haven’t done a 100 per cent job. If you look at the tone, tenure, and format, you will know the difference. They have very cleverly taken some lines from the Central Vista document and pasted that on Section IV of the fake document,” he added.
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