BJP Spokesperson Sambit Patra courted controversy again and fell prey to a fake news story on Sunday when he retweeted a story by the Times of Islamabad on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Make In India' programme.
Although Patra deleted the tweet later, a screenshot of his post has survived and has been doing the rounds on the social media. Here it is:
The article was wrongly credited to NDTV by the Times of Islamabad which is a web portal. According to The Wire, the article was originally published in The Indian Express and written by Congress member and former finance minister P Chidambaram.
However, after NDTV pointed out the error, Times of Islamabad issued a clarification in a tweet, according to an India Today report. The Pakistani website updated its story and removed any reference to NDTV.
However, even after NDTV asked Patra to issue a clarification regarding the same and The Wire published a story on his fake news encounter, he decided to retaliate and defended his position in a tweet:
Do I not have FOE to call out a Pak publication (real not FAKE) which runs an anti India AGENDA?
Why are some riled? pic.twitter.com/TwedmA51sH
— Sambit Patra (@sambitswaraj) June 12, 2017
Patra does not share the best relationship with NDTV. He had earlier been asked to leave the NDTV 24x7 show Left, Right and Centre by anchor Nidhi Razdan after he accused the news channel of "having an anti-BJP agenda".
Ironically, the website that Patra used to reveal NDTV's "anti-government agenda" had also published a story on 16 May on Arundhati Roy's comments on Kashmir in Srinagar which led to BJP MP Paresh Rawal lashing out at Roy and suggesting she be used as a human shield instead.
Responding to Rawal's comments, Roy had said that she never made such statements during a visit to Kashmir which also never took place. Rawal was later forced to delete his tweet by Twitter.
BJP members are not new to falling prey to fake news. According to an Indian Express report, shortly after the BJP government came to power in 2014, Meenakshi Lekhi mistakenly posted a message on Twitter which read: "Congratulations to all of us! Our National Anthem has been adjudged to be the best anthem in the world by UNESCO! (sic)” She later deleted the tweet.
Updated Date: Jun 12, 2017 19:38 PM