Bengal Elections: Fake ‘surveys’ claim unfavourable result for AITC and BJP

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 shared an image each. The images claim that respective political parties have faced unfavourable results.

Claim 1: Letter claims BJP MP Dilip Ghosh informed National President of Bharatiya Janata Party JP Nadda that BJP has had unfavourable result in phase 1

The following letter was shared by AITC member Pritam Seal and wrote, “@DilipGhoshBJ 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.”

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.”

News 18 senior editor Pallavi Ghosh also tweeted the same.

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 have 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.

The accounts that share include BJP member Krishanu Singha, @IAmGMishra, @desibhakthoon, and @MrutyunjayNJ. Based on this image, propaganda website OpIndia, published an article and tweeted, “Mamata losing Nandigram, says leaked image of Prashant Kishor’s internal survey, TMC cries foul.”

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Fact-check 2: On March 31, I-PAC tweeted and refuted the authenticity of the viral image and wrote, “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!”

On March 31, Pratik Jain quote-tweet I-PAC and, “They could have also been smart enough to at least use the actual spelling of my name. #FailedAttempt” The viral image has spelt Pratik’s name with double e instead of i.

The readers should note OpIndia updated their article to include IPAC’s response.

Conclusion

On March 29, AITC members shared a letter long with BJP’s letterhead. As per the letter, BJP MP Dilip Ghosh informed the National President of Bharatiya Janata Party JP Nadda that BJP has had an unfavourable result in phase 1. This claim was refuted by the office of Dilip Ghosh and a complaint was filed with the Election Commission.

A day later, BJP members and supporters shared a document by IPAC, a poll strategy agency hire by CM Mamta Banerjee. According to the image, it shows IPAC predicting a win for BJP in phase two of the elections. IPAC has refuted that claim that it shows a report by them.

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