On January 13, Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi tweeted a photograph with a child saying that he walked up to her as a fan who has watched her debates. Within hours, a person named Amar K. (@Iamnot_Immortal) claimed that the boy in the picture is his nephew and that he had sent him to ask Chaturvedi a few questions which she was unable to answer. Amar K’s tweet was retweeted over 4,000 times.
Director Vivek Agnihotri quote-tweeted the claim and questioned Chaturvedi if it was true. His tweet was liked over 10,000 times and retweeted over 4,000 times.
BJP MP Paresh Rawal quote-tweeted Vivek Agnihotri’s tweet which in turn got retweeted a few thousand times.
Ha ha ha … child trafficking for fan base !!!! https://t.co/BnyrqucvyV
— Paresh Rawal (@SirPareshRawal) January 16, 2019
Amar K. made a few more assertions to further his story. He tweeted that the child didn’t even know what INC is and thought it to be some educational institute. He said that Chaturvedi used the boy’s image to influence “new voters”.
A few users asked him to post a video of the child for proof, to which he replied that he will upload one after Chaturvedi responds.
Based on his claims, Chaturvedi received quite a lot of backlash on social media.
A cooked up tale
Three days after Amar K.’s tweet calling the child his nephew, another man – one Raghvendra R Shukla – tweeted that the claim is false and that the boy is a part of his family. Shukla termed Amar K. “लखनऊ का मोदी फोल्लोर (a Modi follower from Lucknow).”
— Raghvendra R Shukla (@Raghvendra_inc) January 16, 2019
Alt News contacted Raghvendra who told us that he works with a member of Congress who is a trustee at Siddhivinayak. He was informed of Chaturvedi’s visit thus, arranged the darshan for her and her family.
Raghvendra is also a member of Congress and the child is his nephew. The boy visited Siddhvinayak on January 13 along with his uncle, Vikas Shukla, who introduced him to Chaturvedi.
The boy hails from a family of INC karyakartas hence, has watched political debates growing up. “He wanted to meet Priyanka Chaturvedi as he had watched her debating on television,” Vikas told us.
We also spoke to the boy’s father JP Tiwari who corroborated the statements given by Raghvendra and Vikas. All of them denied that Amar K. is a part of their family.
“We do not know anyone by that name who is a family member and have no idea who this person is. His claims are completely false,” Tiwari informed. Alt News has a photograph of the boy, which was sent to us by his father. This matches the child in the image with Chaturvedi. As he is a minor, we will refrain from publishing his photograph in this report.
Alt News also contacted Priyanka Chaturvedi who said that she visited the temple with her family when Raghvendra approached her to meet the boy. “The child came and said that he is a fan of me and he watches my debates so wanted a picture with me. That was all that happened and my own family is a witness to it. From what I hear, the person who called himself the boy’s nephew is not even a relative, let alone a family member.”
Viral on Twitter
A random person’s tweet targeting the Congress spokesperson picked up momentum soon after its appearance on social media. The usual suspects – Rishi Bagree, Bhaiyyaji, Mithun – HMP, Vikas Pandey – were at the forefront to ensure that the tweet goes viral.
Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi visited Siddhivinayak where she met a boy who was her fan. The child was familiar with her work as he belongs to a family of Congress members. A person unrelated to the boy falsely claimed to be his uncle to target Chaturvedi. The Congress spokesperson enjoys an influential space in the political sphere thus, often finds herself in the crosshairs of disinformation. Earlier, she and her daughter received rape and death threats on social media after a fake quote was attributed to Chaturvedi.
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