In a further escalation of the Congress toolkit controversy, the Delhi Police has served notices to two Congress leaders who had complained against BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra’s alleged manipulated tweet on the issue.
The two Congress leaders—Rohan Gupta and Rajiv Gowda—have been asked by the police to join the investigation and record their statements. Meanwhile, Gowda said, “We have told the Delhi Police that our complaint is being investigated by Chhattisgarh and we will pursue the matter there.”
Notably, Congress had complained to Twitter to take action against Patra and several other BJP leaders who shared the alleged fake tweet by the BJP spokesperson on toolkit controversy. Following the complaint, Patra’s tweet was labelled by Twitter as “manipulated media”—a major embarrassment for the BJP leader as well as the party.
Yesterday, the Delhi Police also served notice to Twitter for marking the BJP leader’s tweet as “manipulated media” asking it to clarify why it did so.
Following the notice to Congress leaders, the party in a statement said, “Congress is the complainant in the case. They have been called in the capacity not as an accused but as complainant. Remember Congress has levelled allegations against BJP for posting “manipulative content”. The investigating officer while pursuing the complaint wanted to verify some content and complaint… This doesn’t mean he is an accused.”
Sambit Patra’s controversial tweet
The tweet was published by Patra on May 18 with the hashtag “#CongressToolkitExposed” and it was widely shared by several BJP leaders.
Sambit Patra in the tweet wrote, “Friends look at the #CongressToolKit in extending help to the needy during the Pandemic! More of a PR exercise with the help of “Friendly Journalists” & “Influencers” than a soulful endeavour. Read for yourselves the agenda of the Congress: #CongressToolKitExposed.” He also shared a screenshot claiming it was from the document.
The BJP has accused the Congress of creating a toolkit with an aim to tarnish the image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and India by calling the new strain of COVID-19 as “Modi strain” or “India strain”. However, the Congress has refuted the allegation. It said that its research wing made a toolkit on the Central Vista Project in the national capital, which the saffron party is wrongly using for propaganda.
On May 19, BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra said that toolkit properties reveal that it was created by a person who works for Congress leader Rajeev Gowda, in charge of Congress party’s Research Wing. However, Gowda said that Patra was sharing metadata of a real toolkit and using it as evidence for a fake document.
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