New CM lands in row for sharing distorted India map 6 years ago
Hours before he took oath as the 10th chief minister of Uttarakhand, Pushkar Singh Dhami triggered a political slugfest on Sunday over a 2015 social media post in which he shared an image of “Akhand Bharat” that allegedly showed misrepresented parts of the present-day map.
The map, posted on Twitter on August 14, 2015, purportedly showed “Akhand Bharat (undivided India)” leaving out parts of Ladakh and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) . The post triggered sharp responses from opposition parties Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party, which sought action against the 45-year-old leader.
Suryakant Dhasmana, Congress vice-president for the Uttarakhand unit, said it was surprising that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government didn’t take any action against Dhami. “Instead, they have made him the CM. Even the past two CMs have given controversial statements during their tenures, inviting flak not only from Congress but people in general. We expect CMs to talk about issues of people, on unemployment, on price hike, not just make controversial statements or tweets.”
Misrepresentation of the Indian map recently landed Twitter in trouble, when a world map under the careers sections of the company’s page titled Tweep Life, showed the disputed Aksai Chin area of Ladakh, illegally occupied by China, as part of that country and depicted the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir as a separate entity.
Two police cases were filed against Twitter for carrying the distorted version on its website. In October last year, the Centre served Twitter with a notice over the geotag for Leh, showing it as a part of China.
The AAP’s state unit president SS Kaler, too, called for action against Dhami, saying: “Whether a person is a common man or a VIP, the law should be the same for all citizens. How can a BJP leader himself show the map of India without Ladakh and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir?...”
The BJP, however, launched a counter-attack and sought the Congress’s stand on the revocation of J&K’s special status. “It is the BJP government that revoked Article 370 and integrated Kashmir with the rest of India... I want to ask Congress what has been their stand on Article 370, what they have done for the integration of the country, ” said state BJP spokesperson Devendra Bhasin.