West Bengal Legislative Assembly election began on March 27. It is going to take place in eight phases until April 29. In the final week of March, All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) and Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) members/ supporters each shared an image. The images claim that respective political parties have faced unfavourable results.
Claim 1: The letter claims BJP MP Dilip Ghosh informed National President of Bharatiya Janata Party JP Nadda that BJP had unfavourable result in phase 1.
The letter was shared by AITC member Pritam Seal who claimed that TMC got a clean sweep in the first phase and BJP is “already accepting defeat”.
.@DilipGhoshBJP writes to @BJP4India president @JPNadda that its Game Over for them in the first phase of Polls, @AITCofficial to get a clean sweep.
Looks like @BJP4Bengal is accepting defeat already.
This is what happens when you sit for exams unprepared.#BohiragotoChaiNa pic.twitter.com/LaYQw4b5SG
— Pritam Seal (@PritamSealAITC) March 29, 2021
Fact-check: On March 30, the Office of Dilip Ghosh tweeted, “This is a fake letter being circulated on the name of Shri @DilipGhoshBJP. The @BJP4Bengal has made a complaint to the @ECISVEEP and will lodge a police complaint to take criminal action against those sharing this forged letter.”
This is a fake letter being circulated on the name of Shri @DilipGhoshBJP. The @BJP4Bengal has made a complaint to the @ECISVEEP and will lodge a police complaint to take criminal action againat those sharing this forged letter. pic.twitter.com/qYUZvwd8Wn
— Office of Dilip Ghosh (@DilipGhoshOff) March 30, 2021
News 18 senior editor Pallavi Ghosh also tweeted the same.
— pallavi ghosh (@_pallavighosh) March 30, 2021
Additionally, Alt News found that the signature of Ghosh on the viral image doesn’t match the signature on the document shared by Aditi Anarayanan, central government correspondent for Times Now.
Claim 2: Around March 31, several social media users shared an image that allegedly shows two pages of a report by the Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC), a poll strategy agency hired by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. As per the image, BJP is likely to win in phase 2.
BJP spokesperson Suresh Nakhua shared this image and wrote, “Didler is losing Nandigram as per internal survey by PK.” This tweet gained over 1,000 retweets.
Didler is losing Nandigram as per internal survey by PK pic.twitter.com/QyBS9vN5GI
— Suresh Nakhua ( सुरेश नाखुआ ) (@SureshNakhua) March 30, 2021
The accounts that amplified the image include BJP member Krishanu Singha, @IAmGMishra, @desibhakthoon, and @MrutyunjayNJ. Pro-BJP propaganda website OpIndia published an article and tweeted, “Mamata losing Nandigram, says leaked image of Prashant Kishor’s internal survey, TMC cries foul.”
Fact-check 2: On March 31, I-PAC tweeted to refute the authenticity of the viral image. “Facing imminent defeat, @BJP4Bengal has now gone down to the level of using FAKE surveys in the name of I-PAC to keep the morale of their workers up!! P.S: In I-PAC, no one uses desktops so at-least be smart in your effort to create fake survey/reports,” tweeted the company.
Facing imminent defeat, @BJP4Bengal has now gone down to the level of using FAKE surveys in the name of I-PAC to keep the morale of their workers up!!
P.S: In I-PAC, no one uses desktops so at-least be smart in your effort to create fake survey / reports! 😉🤣 pic.twitter.com/lFaOo0DshU
— I-PAC (@IndianPAC) March 31, 2021
I-PAC Director Pratik Jain also called out the misinformation stating that his name has been misspelt in the letter. The bottom right corner of the fake survey spells Pratik’s name with double ‘e’ instead of ‘i’.
— Pratik Jain (@jpr4tik) March 31, 2021
Both BJP and TMC members shared fake documents to propagate that the other party is set to lose West Bengal elections. It is noteworthy that OpIndia updated its article to include I-PAC’s response.