Union Ministers Smriti Irani, Jitendra Singh fall for fake news about TN Seshan’s death

The fake news of demise of former Chief Election Commissioner of India, TN Seshan has been circulating on social media for many days now. The fake news was debunked by many including Boom Live and SM Hoax Slayer , DNA  and Times Now on April 2nd itself. Who would fall for fake news six days after it was so prominently debunked not just by fact checkers but also the mainstream media? The list is long, headed by none other than Smriti Irani, Minister of Information and Broadcasting.

Smriti Irani offered her condolences on top of the tweet of Dr Jitendra Singh who is Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region. Both the tweets in the image below have now been deleted.

TN Seshan’s wife, Jayalakshmi Seshan had passed away on March 31st, 2018. Soon after her death, a rumor started doing the rounds that a day later Mr Seshan himself had also passed away. Boom Live called up the Chennai residence number of TN Seshan and a relative confirmed that the news was a hoax and that he was fine.

Ironically, Smriti Irani has been in news lately for attempts to curb the spread of fake news. After the humiliating recall of the contentious fake news guidelines within hours of being issued, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry has now constituted a committee to frame rules to regulate news portals and media websites. It is rather embarrassing that the Minister, who is defining rules to curb fake news, falls for such a garden-variety fake WhatsApp forward.

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