BJP raising ‘fake toolkit’ issue to divert attention from ‘failures’ of Modi govt.: Congress

Updated - May 19, 2021 05:04 pm IST

Published - May 19, 2021 04:26 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala. File

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala. File

The Congress on Wednesday accused the BJP of trying to raise a ‘fake toolkit’ issue to divert attention from the ‘failures’ of the Narendra Modi government in handling the second wave of corona and claimed that the basic data of a document related to the Central Vista project was ‘forged’ as the Congress toolkit on COVID-19.

Addressing an online press conference, party’s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala rubbished BJP spokesperson Sambait Patra’s claim that metadata — data containing basic information such as author, creation date, file size — had clearly proven that a person working in the All India Congress Committee (AICC) Research Department was behind the controversial document that called for “destroying the Prime Minister’s image”.

“The apparent forgery and its use to divert agenda and agenda setting has been exposed. I understand that Dr. Sambit Patra will have to go to jail and he is jittery because of that….And this metadata nonsense that he is doing, we clearly said yesterday that the Central Vista document is our document,” Mr. Surjewala said, adding that the metadata of a real document cannot be used to justify a forged document.

On Tuesday, the Congress party had filed an email complaint with the Delhi police naming BJP president J P Nadda, Union Minister Smriti Irani, Mr. Patra and party organising secretary BL Santish for sharing “a forged and fake document” on social media platforms.

In response, Mr. Patra took to twitter on Wednesday and named Saumya Varma, who works in the AICC Research Department, as the author of the toolkit.

Interestingly, the screenshot shared by Mr. Patra to name Ms. Varma clearly mentioned the file name as “Central_Vista_Vanity_Project_AICC_ Research”.

“Let’s be clear. We made a research note on Central Vista for the party. It’s genuine & fact-based. I tweeted yesterday that ‘COVID19 toolkit’ is FORGED & is a MADE in BJP product. Patra is showing metadata/author of a real document & attributing it to a FAKE,” tweeted AICC research cell head Rajeev Gowda.

Though former Congress chief Rahul Gndhi didn’t directly refer to the toolkit allegations, he took a dig at the Centre for spreading lies.

“Vaccines are decreasing and COVID deaths are increasing. The Central government policy — divert attention, spread untruth, make noise by hiding facts,” Mr. Gandhi said on twitter and shared a set of graphs that showed a decline in vaccinations while recording a rise in number of daily deaths.

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