Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday rubbished claims by the Opposition BJP that he had bought fake ‘Likes’ for his official Facebook page. He said this seemed to be the mischief of those who were behind similar controversies on social media.
“Instances of profane and sacrilegious material [being uploaded] on the Facebook pages of religious groups have been reported in the past. They have led to communal tension several times in different parts of the State. This seems to be the handiwork of similar mischievous elements,” said Mr. Gehlot.
Mr. Gehlot said the technical team, which manages his Facebook page, had clarified that the ‘Likes’ were not artificially enhanced.
However, Mr. Gehlot admitted that it was strange that most of the new followers who “liked” his page were from the Turkish city of Istanbul. “I have no connection with Turkey. I have never been to Istanbul. This is rather strange.”
Mr. Gehlot said this would not benefit any political party. “It is sincere work which ultimately gets recognition. Popularity cannot be generated artificially for anyone,” he said.
A BJP spokesperson here had claimed that Mr. Gehlot’s official Facebook page, “Aapka Mukhya Mantri” (Your Chief Minister), had 1,69,077 ‘Likes’ till June 1 and it shot up to 2,14,639 by June 30. Most of the followers were earlier from Jaipur, but “the most popular city” changed to Istanbul by month-end.
Asked about the Supreme Court judgment disqualifying convicted politicians, Mr. Gehlot said he would first prefer to study the verdict to understand the context in which it had been delivered.