Ahead of UP Elections

The year 2022 will be another grave challenge for Bharatiya Janata Party to uphold its reign in the upcoming legislative assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. With the pressure of reversing the damage caused during the second wave of COVID-19 and the backseat of the loss in the West Bengal elections, the BJP government will have to aim at countering fake narratives, even in the remotest areas, the announcement of imperative laws and infrastructural projects, consolidation Hindu votes on the ground, and laying low on appeasement politics.

On the other hand, we have our opposition parties, such as Congress, Aam Aadmi Party and Samajwadi Party who have already begun peddling misinformation and false statements, intending to break down the governance of BJP and division of votes.

–        First, a fake narrative about Modi v/s Yogi was being established, where it was claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is thinking about revamping the face of Uttar Pradesh. Such rumours emerged after a few faces on Twitter made a mindless controversy about PM Modi not sending Birthday wishes to CM Yogi Adityanath on Twitter, indicating a tension between the two. In addition to this ridiculous claim was made by journalist Sharat Pradhan, who writes for news portals, such as “The Wire”. Pradhan wrote a few prejudiced and debatable articles, stating that a “meeting with RSS will decide the destiny of CM Yogi in BJP”.

What needs to be emphasized here is that the entire article is based on mere speculations and doesn’t illustrate any factual points about any possible feud between PM Modi and Yogi Adityanath. Some might even like to call such news articles nothing but a work of fiction.

There is no evidence whatsoever that can back such derisive and laughable claims being floated by many biased Media houses. In fact, Central Government has always lauded various schemes introduced by CM Yogi for the reformation of the state of U.P, and have always lent their support in various infrastructural projects. Furthermore, BJP at various occasions has already indicated that Yogi Adityanath will most likely be the face of the 2022 elections, shunning all the rumours altogether.

–        Another such example of carrying out false propaganda is when opposition parties such as AAP and Congress very conveniently gave rise to a non-existent Ram Mandir scam. Manish Sisodia, leader of AAP, made an allegation stating that the Ram Mandir trust fund purchased the land for Rs. 18 crores, where it was supposedly valued at Rs 2 crores.

Additionally, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala asserted that a BJP leader has earned a profit of 1250% by the sale of land being used for Ram Mandir and asked the Supreme Court to probe into the matter by conducting an audit.

Both the claims made are not only far away from facts and truthfulness but also expose their cheap tactics of using Lord Shri Ram’s name to make all the Hindus stand against BJP.

In reality, Kusum who was the owner of the land got into an agreement with a    man named Ansari to sell the land to him for Rs 2 crore in the year 2019. Ansari at that time also made an advance payment of Rs 50 Lakh. However, right after the Supreme Court announced its verdict on the Ayodhya dispute, areas near the Ram Mandir land saw a significant rise in property valuation.

In 2021, as per the agreement, Kusum sold the land to Ansari for Rs 2 crore, and Ram Mandir Trust bought this land from Ansari for Rs 18 crore as per the current valuation. All the transactions between all the parties were performed with complete transparency, leaving no question for any possible scam or fraud. So the opposition trying to gain leverage in the name of Shri Ram is nothing more than them indulging in petty politics for their personal gains.

–        Just a few weeks back, an attempt was made by a worker of the Samajwadi Party to incite communal violence between Hindus and Muslims by circulating a video on social media, portraying that a Muslim mand was assaulted by a few Hindu men after he refused to chant, “Jai Shri Ram”. However, after an investigation conducted by U.P police, it was revealed that amongst the five accused, two of them were Muslims. Additionally, it was also disclosed that one of the accused Parvesh Gujjar had a personal enmity with the victim, Abdul Samad Safi, ruling out any possibility of a communal angle. UP police have now arrested Samajwadi Party leader, Umer Pahalwan Idris for falsely claiming that the Hindu attackers forced the victim to chant “Jai Shri Ram ” and giving it a narrative of communal hatred.

Taking cognizance of the matter in hand, the Ghaziabad Police has also sent a legal notice to twitter for “provoking communal unrest” and failing to add the term “manipulative media” on the unverified tweets. Along with Twitter, FIR has been lodged against six individuals, namely Mohammad Zubair (co-founder of ALT News and alleged fact-checker), journalists Rana Ayyub and Saba Naqvi and two other Congress leaders for circulating the fake news on Twitter and inciting communal violence. The Ghaziabad Police stated in their FIR, “There is no communal angle to the incident in Loni where a man was thrashed and his beard was chopped off. The following entities-The Wire, Rana Ayyub, Mohammad Zubair, Dr Shama Mohammed, Saba Naqvi, Maskoor Usmani, Slaman Nizami-without checking the fact, started giving communal colour to the incident on Twitter and suddenly they started spreading messages to disrupt the peace and bring differences between the religious communities.”

By now, we would have lost count of how many times Shri Ram’s name is being used to spread a lie and feed some people’s bigoted mindset. Amongst all of these incidents of false narratives and misinformation, the oppositions have tried to use the “communal angle” to fuel their propaganda and divide the votes in the upcoming elections. What they don’t realize is that citizens know the difference between “politically-motivated propaganda” and “factual incidents”. If the opposition keeps focusing on inciting violence and indulging in ugly politics to fuel an agenda, soon their loyal supporters will be able to see the ground reality and will stop falling prey to their objectionable games and propaganda.

Isha Jain

Columnist, Goa Chronicle

DISCLAIMER: This article reflects author’s view point. Goa Chronicle may or may not subscribe to views of the author

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