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Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018: After Phony Intel Report, Congress Battles Fake Candidates List

On Tuesday, several media organisations and lakhs of voters across Karnataka received a ‘candidates list’ allegedly from the Congress via WhatsApp.

D P Satish | News18dp_satish

Updated:April 11, 2018, 1:41 PM IST
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Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018: After Phony Intel Report, Congress Battles Fake Candidates List
File photo of Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah.
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Bengaluru: The ruling Congress in Karnataka has been hit by several pieces of election-related fake news in the last few days and the Grand Old Party is pointing fingers at the BJP, accusing it of spreading fake news fearing “certain defeat” in the Assembly elections scheduled to be held on May 12.

On Tuesday, several media organisations and lakhs of voters across Karnataka received a ‘candidates list’ allegedly from the Congress via WhatsApp.

The ‘list’ had 132 names and many fell for it as the Central Election Committee of the Congress is currently discussing candidate selection in New Delhi. Some channels even aired the list. It was only after the ‘list’ was sent to the Congress office that top leaders of the party scrutinised it and dismissed it as fake.

The list even had the signature of top Congress leader Oscar Fernandes. But the creator of this fake list seemed unaware that Fernandes is seriously ill and has been admitted to Sir Ganga Ram hospital in New Delhi. He is no longer the authorised signatory for such lists.

The ‘list’ mentioned Congress leader in Lok Sabha M Mallikarjuna Kharge as one of the candidates. It even claimed that Kharge had replaced his son and the state’s IT and Tourism Minister Priyank Kharge in Chitapur seat.

Alarmed by the fake news, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah tweeted and asked people not to fall for it. He also asked people to not endorse the products of "fake factory".



The AICC secretary in charge of Karnataka and former MP Madhu Yashki Goud was more vocal and directly held the BJP IT Cell responsible for it. Threatening a criminal action against the BJP, he said that the saffron party had “mastered the art of fake news to misguide the people”.

Just three days ago, the Congress was battling another fake news wherein a ‘confidential’ report was doing the rounds. It was purportedly sent by the chief of state intelligence and advised Chief Minister Siddaramaiah not to contest from Chamundeshwari in Mysore district. It was ‘signed’ by the intelligence chief and top IPS officer AM Prasad. But here too, the creators of the fake report did not do their homework.

AM Prasad is already a DGP-rank officer, but the ‘secret’ note mentioned his designation as ADGP. Secondly, the address of the Intelligence Office in Bengaluru it mentioned was wrong.

A senior police officer clarified that such reports are always submitted verbally or orally and never in writing.

Once again, Siddaramaiah tweeted and asked people not to fall for ‘fake news’.

The Congress has expressed fears of a flood of fake news targeting its leaders in the next one month. The BJP is yet to react to it.
| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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