The Congress on Tuesday filed a police complaint against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president J.P. Nadda and others after BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra held a press conference accusing the Opposition party of preparing a “toolkit” to destroy the image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The complaint — filed at the Tughlak Road Police Station by All India Congress Committee (AICC) research department head Rajeev Gowda and social media head Rohan Gupta — also named Union Minister Smriti Irani and BJP’s organising secretary B. L. Santosh, apart from Mr. Nadda and Mr. Patra.
Naming the above-mentioned leaders, the complaint mentioned that they had connived with each other and “forged, fabricated and manufactured the said documents on the letterhead of AICC Research Department and printed such material on the same which has to potential of creating communal disharmony, civil unrest in the country and the said document is being utilized by the BJP to spread fake news which has to potential to be escalated into violence and fueling hate at the hands of BJP leaders directly”.
Congress spokesperson and lawyer Aman Pawar said if the Delhi Police did not register a First Information Report (FIR) based on the Congress complaint, they would then approach a court under Section 156 of the Indian Penal Code.
The party also talked about approaching social media companies to debar these BJP functionaries from their platforms for allegedly spreading “fake news”.
“Don’t waste time spreading lies, wake up and start saving lives,” Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted along with words “fake” stamped over the screenshot of the alleged Congress document that was shared by the BJP’s leaders.
Earlier, Mr. Patra, in a tweet, claimed that the Congress had instructed its social media volunteers to use the term “Modi strain” or “Indian strain” for the mutant variant, refer to the Kumbh Mela as a super spreader event, and respond only to help that tagged the Indian Youth Congress (IYC).
“Disgusting to say the least...Rahul Gandhi wanting to use this opportunity of Pandemic to destroy the image of PM Modi. Congress workers instructed to call the mutant strain as “Modi strain.” No stone left unturned to scar the name of India with the help of Foreign Journalists!!” tweeted Mr. Patra and tagged an image of an alleged Congress document.
Addressing an online press conference with Mr. Gowda, Mr. Gupta and Mr. Pawar, Congress party spokesperson Pawan Khera said the “toolkit” is the most predictable diversionary tactic adopted by the BJP to change the media narrative and avoid responsibility for its failures.
“The one thing that concerns the Prime Minister [Narendra Modi] is protecting his false image and he can work 24 hours in a day to protect it...We would like to tell Mr. Modi that we cannot be silenced and won’t be scared by him,” Mr. Khera.
IYC chief B.V. Srinivas also tweeted, “Dear all, Ask yourself, over the past few weeks thousands of you received help from #SOSIYC when GOI was sleeping. Our volunteers risked their lives to save your loved ones. Are you also part of fabricated BJP’s toolkit? Hv we committed any crime by saving your lives?”