A photograph purportedly showing Union home minister and senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh offering sweets to former CPI(M) general-secretary Prakash Karat shown at a press conference by Trinamool Rajya Sabha MP Derek O Brien on Saturday has landed the ruling party in a soup.
Both the BJP and the CPI(M) have charged the Trinamool with fraud, labelling the photograph as doctored. In the evening, the Trinamool Congress accepted that the photo was “photoshoped” and promptly withdrew it from the party’s website. “Our research team has found that the photograph was photoshoped,” a Trinamool statement said.
What did the photograph show and what was the purpose of the Trinamool Congress to fish it out from the archives? The picture showed Union home minister Rajnath Singh offering a ladoo to CPI(M) leader Prakash Karat. And the purpose was to drive home the point that the BJP and the Left was hand-in-glove.
The original photo that was morphed had Rajnath Singh offering sweets to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose head was replaced by that of Karat. Modi’s outfit was not even changed in the photoshopped image. Ironically, Trinamool leaders are crying hoarse over Narada videos alleging that they were doctored with the aim of defaming the party in the middle of the polls.
“I have never met Rajnath Singh, let alone eat sweets offered by him,” Karat told HT. The BJP has asked the police to take cognizance of the fraud and slap cases on the Trinamool leaders behind the incident. “If the cops don’t act, we will file an FIR on Sunday,” said CPI(M)’s Md Salim.
“The Trinamool Congress has demeaned our leaders using fake photos. We are seeking legal opinion on the matter,” BJP national secretary Sidarthnath Singh told HT.