The National General Secretary of BJP Ram Madav was caught peddling fake news on national television based on a phoney Whatsapp forward.
In the video, Ram Madhav had alleged that CPI(M)’s party organ in West Bengal Ganashakti has published an “anti-national” article supporting China in the Ladakh clash citing a WhatsApp forward purportedly showing the pro-China lines in the Article. He also accused CPM of aligning with China and the Soviet Union in the past.
He later apologised after CPM politburo member Mohammed Saleem called out his bluff on a tweet.
“Md Salim is right. I was given an interpretation not fully true. I regret d error. I never trust WhatsApp stories. Bt this one came from a very senior and respected person from Bengal. Hence I believed it was true. Ganoshakti was giving Beijing’s version, not it’s own as I assumed” he replied quoting the tweet from Mr.Saleem.
What did Ganashakti Publish??
The article, titled ‘Ladakh seemante sanghat, mrityu ubhai pakkhei’ (Face-off in Ladakh, both sides suffer casualties), first detailed the Monday night clash between Indian and Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, then carried the official version of India’s Ministry of External Affairs.
It went on to quote the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson as saying he had not heard of any casualties on their side, and then the story was continued on Page 2, in which the spokesperson said the Indian Army had violated their consensus agreement on de-escalation.
Indian Army on 15 June violated that agreement in a serious way. The Indian Army breached China’s borderline twice for their illegal work. They also provoked Chinese soldiers and attacked them. This violation of protocol led to the physical clash,” Ganashakti quoted the spokesperson as saying.
But now, only a cutting of the second page is being circulated on social media, implying that the publication was only putting forth the Chinese view, due to the Communist link.
“We have taken versions from both governments. On the front page, we have given the Indian foreign ministry’s version and then quoted the Chinese spokesperson. BJP’s IT cell has taken only the second page, where it seems we have written (that the Indian Army violated the agreement and breached the border). In reality, we quoted the Chinese spokesperson. It is a mischievous way to confuse and mislead people,” a Ganashakti press release stated.
CPI(M) was never aligned with Chinese or Soviet Communists
The CPI(M)’s Bengal state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra said the party was never aligned to China’s Communist Party or that of the erstwhile Soviet Union.
“We only raise issues and express concern for our country. We are not agents of China. Some people always refer to an old saying ‘China’s chairman, our chairman’, but they don’t tell you that all senior CPI(M) leaders protested against this slogan. And we never accepted it,” Mishra said.
“We never want a war anywhere. We want peace and settlement through dialogue. We expressed condolence for our soldiers,” he added.
However, Swapan Dasgupta nominated Rajya Sabha MP and journalist aligned with the BJP, claimed that the CPI(M) had shown its true colours with this article.
“They have maintained their unblemished record of being anti-India. Nobody has ever seen CPI(M) taking a pro-India stand. So, we are not surprised,” Dasgupta told ThePrint.