NEW DELHI: The controversy over Congress’ alleged use of toolkit to tarnish the image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi over handling of COVID-19 intensified on Wednesday as Bharatiya Janata Party revealed the identity of the alleged author of the document as a member of the Congress’ research wing.
Responding to the Congress assertion that the document shown by the BJP was fake and its threat to lodge an FIR against BJP President JP Nadda, senior BJP leader and party spokesperson Sambit Patra stated that the party had itself exposed the author of the toolkit.
Patra, with details collated by domain experts of the toolkit in hand, named Saumya Verma as the author of the toolkit that aimed to defame the Prime Minister and the country by directing to call Covid strain B.1.617 as “Indian Variant” or “Modi variant”.
Patra, with details collated by domain experts, named Saumya Varma as the author of the toolkit that aimed to defame the Prime Minister and the country by directing to call Covid strain as ‘Indian variant’ or ‘Modi variant’.
Patra said that Varma according to her profile is a member of the research wing of All India Congress Committee (AICC) and works directly for Congress leader Professor Rajeev Gowda.
The BJP leader presented papers of the toolkit author where the name of the project was given as ‘Central vista vanity project AICC Research’ along with various photographs of Varma with Rahul Gandhi and Gowda as a member of the AICC research team.
Congress had threatened to lodge an FIR against Nadda and Patra accusing them of forgery of a toolkit to divert the country’s attention from the government’s failure to tackle the COVID pandemic. Patra said that the pointers mentioned in the ‘Congress toolkit’ were used by various Congress leaders including Rahul Gandhi and “this should be evidence enough”.
“The toolkit mentioned that how a certain variant should be called Indian or Modi variant. Rahul Gandhi tweeted Covid as Modi pandemic and Sonia Falerio is the daughter of a Congress leader called the variant as Modi variant. Shashi Tharoor too has called it an Indian variant as mentioned in the toolkit. We now know the origin of the toolkit,” said Patra.
The BJP had come out with an ‘expose’ on Tuesday where it alleged that Congress has come out with a toolkit to tarnish Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s and government on handling of the pandemic. The contents of the toolkit ranged from targeting PM Modi to taking the help of foreign publication journalists for building a narrative against the government over its handling of the pandemic.
BJP President JP Nadda had condemned Congress for “dividing society and spewing venom at a time when the country is fighting COVID-19 while urging Congress to go beyond toolkit models and do something constructive.”