In-charge of BJP’s national Information & Technology Amit Malviya tweeted a video of Dr Manmohan Singh on November 27 where the former PM can be heard saying, “The Governments of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh were very good.” This clip where Singh seems to appreciate the BJP state governments was captioned as, “Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh contradicted Rahul Gandhi, says governments of Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh were ‘very good’… Waters down everything Congress President has been saying over the last few days!”
Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh contradicts Rahul Gandhi, says governments of Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh were ‘very good’… Waters down everything Congress President has been saying over the last few days! pic.twitter.com/cLqCL0al7q
— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) November 27, 2018
Malviya’s tweet comes at the backdrop of Rahul Gandhi’s speeches in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh where the INC chief criticised PM Modi-led BJP government. The identical video was also circulated by national in-charge of social media – BJP Mahila Morcha, Priti Gandhi.
— Priti Gandhi (@MrsGandhi) November 27, 2018
As it turns out, Malviya and Gandhi shared a mischievously clipped video of the former PM’s speech made on November 26. Singh was a panelist in a discussion organised for the book release function of former Union Minister Manish Tewari’s new book ‘Fables of Fractured Times’. During the dialogue, journalist and anchor Rajdeep Sardesai posed a question to the former PM regarding maintaining dignity and decorum at a time of polarised election propaganda.
Responding to Sardesai, Singh asserted the significance of the Prime Minister maintaining a certain restraint on the use of language when he visits states that are ruled by parties other than the BJP. Singh continued to say that during UPA’s government, he maintained cordial relationships with the governments of both Madhya Pradesh and Chhatisgarh despite the states not being ruled by the Congress.
The former PM’s exact words were, “My relationships with the government of Madhya Pradesh, the government of Chhattisgarh were very good. We never discriminated against BJP-ruled states.” He further went on to say that MP CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan can testify the same. The relevant part of Singh’s statement starts at 1:20 minutes in the complete video tweeted earlier by Congress.
A lesson for PM Modi on maintaining the dignity of his office. pic.twitter.com/JvUiXebnJF
— Congress (@INCIndia) November 27, 2018
In conclusion, former PM Manmohan Singh wasn’t praising BJP governments in MP and Chhatisgarh. He was, in fact, advising Prime Minister Modi to not discriminate against states that aren’t ruled by the BJP, same as he claimed to have practised when in power. This was first pointed out by True News (@TrueNewsBengal). Singh’s original statement “my relationships with the government of Madhya Pradesh, the government of Chhattisgarh were very good” was clipped to “the government of Madhya Pradesh, the government of Chhattisgarh were very good” to make it seem otherwise.
This wasn’t an isolated instance when BJP IT cell heads circulated cropped videos to portray Congress in poor light. Earlier, Amit Malviya had tweeted a misleading clip of INC MLA Jitu Patwari. He had also shared a clipped video to malign journalist Ravish Kumar. In August, Priti Gandhi had circulated a video of pro-Khalistan supporters gate-crashing a Congress event with a false narrative.