With campaigning in the run-up to the Karnataka Assembly elections reaching its final lap, fake news has started spreading like wildfire. A survey on the Karnataka polls by one Janta Ki Baat has been doing the rounds on WhatsApp. The survey with a BBC logo showed that the Bharatiya Janata Party is set to win with a clear majority. BBC India had to step in and clarify in a tweet that it doesn’t commission pre-election surveys in India. It tweeted: “A fake survey on Karnataka polls claims to be from BBC News. We'd like to make it absolutely clear that it's a #fake and does not come from the BBC. The BBC does not commission pre-election surveys in India.”
Deal or no deal?
Arch rivals Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI-M] on Tuesday accused each other of having a secret pack with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). TMC leaders pointed to news reports that the CPI-M and the BJP have joined hands in Nadia district of West Bengal to fight the TMC in the upcoming panchayat polls. Local CPI-M leaders were quoted saying that villagers wanted all Opposition parties in the state — including the BJP — to come together against the TMC and that the party's national ‘line’ had nothing to do with it. Reports quoted BJP leaders saying the tie-up was an “isolated incident”. CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury tweeted that the BJP and the TMC were two sides of the same coin, and that the TMC should answer why the Central Bureau of Investigation was going slow on the scams in which its leaders were involved. He also denied any understanding with the BJP in Nadia, while the TMC persisted that there indeed was a “secret deal”.
Mamata in a new role
She was an artist, a poet, a writer, and now, in the run-up to the panchayat elections, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has turned a playwright. A 15-minute street play, Jayatu, meaning victorious, highlighting the achievements of the Trinamool government, is now running in the districts. The primary themes of the play are the developmental programmes of the government, the adverse impact of BJP's policies in Bengal, and the 34-year of misrule by the Left Front government. Banerjee knows the pulse of the people and Jayatu is already a runaway hit.