Kolkata: The Trinamool Congress filed a complaint with the Election Commission on Tuesday against the Bharatiya Janata Party for spreading “fake news and lodging a false complaint with the Election Commission”.
The TMC’s move comes a day after the BJP wrote to the EC, accusing the officer-in-charge of Thanarpara police station in Nadia district of West Bengal for “regularly going for door to door campaign” with TMC MP from Krishnanagar, Mahua Moitra. Bypolls are scheduled to be held in Kharagpur, Karimpur and Kaliaganj of the state on November 25.
The BJP’s letter read that “this is a blatant violation of Model Code of Conduct which is in force in the entire district”. It has sought the suspension of the police officer.
Trashing the BJP’s claims, the TMC wrote to the EC accusing the party of “spreading fake news and lodging false complaint with the EC”. TMC blamed Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh for uttering “misleading falsehoods” in a public rally in Karimpur on Monday. The TMC has also sent a copy of the complaint to the cyber police demanding action under the Indian Penal Code and the IT Act.
“We wish to state on record that this is a false, misleading complaint based on a classic case of fake news which is a criminal offence under the IT Act. The photo used in the complaint dates from August 18, 2019, (well before the MCC came into effect) and was uploaded on the AITC MP’s official Facebook page on the day itself. The photo was taken during a normal visit to the area and had nothing to do with campaigning,” read TMC’s letter to the EC.
MP Mahua Moitra took to Twitter to say, “Need a special law just to tackle the fake news menace. Shameful lows that the ruling party has fallen to.”
Need a special law just to tackle the fake news menace. Shameful lows that the ruling party has fallen to. pic.twitter.com/ePTvKjQ7rM
— Mahua Moitra (@MahuaMoitra) November 12, 2019
Newsmeter examined the picture of the police officer accompanying Mahua Moitra that was alleged by the BJP to have been taken during the ongoing bypoll campaign.
We found that the picture was uploaded on Mahua Moitra’s official Facebook page on August 18 and it has no relevance with the BJP’s version of the story as it is fake and misleading. Here is a link to the post which has multiple pictures of the visit including the one used by the BJP in its complaint:
Few BJP leaders took to Twitter, targeting the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC government, the cop and Mahua Moitra. Some of the tweets are:
करीमपुर उपचुनाव के लिए #TMC हर तरह के हथकंडे अपना रही है। पार्टी की सांसद महुआ मोइत्रा के साथ थानापारा की थाना प्रभारी सुमित कुमार घोष नियमित रूप से चुनाव प्रचार करते नजर आ रहे है। ऐसा लग रहा है कि #WestBengal पुलिस #TMC में शामिल हो गई है। pic.twitter.com/FCH27WOSCc
— Kailash Vijayvargiya (@KailashOnline) November 11, 2019