Actors paid to walk in Bharat Jodo Yatra, claims BJP
Numerous Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, including the likes of its IT cell in-charge Amit Malviya, claimed on Tuesday that actors were being paid to walk with Rahul Gandhi in the Congress's Bharat Jodo Yatra (BJY). They shared an alleged Congress WhatsApp chat screenshot—with no name or number—requesting the participation of actors against "the best possible cost" in the BJY's upcoming Madhya Pradesh leg.
Why does this story matter?
- Touted to be the longest political march carried out by any political party in India's history, the Bharat Jodo Yatra is a political movement by Congress, which is struggling to find its ground.
- Amid the growing controversies and numerous high-profile exits, the 3,570km BJY is seen as an attempt by the Congress to revive its position as the main opposition party and strengthen itself.
Malviya takes aim at Congress, Rahul Gandhi
Retweeting the said screenshot shared by BJP MLA Nitesh Rane, Malviya wrote, "Other than refurbishing Rahul Gandhi's credential as a leader, all that his Yatra has achieved is enable [the] rise of a self-serving coterie around him, which is doing more harm by this kind of paid PR." He questioned, "But who are these people willing to associate with Rahul even for some money?"
This 'pappu' will never pass: Nitesh Rane on Twitter
Maharashtra BJP MLA Rane, while sharing the alleged screenshot of the Congress's WhatsApp message for actors, tweeted, "So the Rahul Gandhi Yatra is stage managed (sic)." "This is [proof] of how actors [are being] paid to come and walk with him... Sab Golmaal hai bhai! Ye Pappu kabhi pass nahi hoga!!" he further wrote, targeting Gandhi.
Malviya criticizes Congress over allegations of paying actors for participation
Other than refurbishing Rahul Gandhi’s credential as a leader, all that his Yatra has achieved is enable rise of a self serving coterie around him, which is doing more harm by this kind of paid PR.— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) November 22, 2022
But who are these people willing to associate with Rahul even for some money? 🤷♂️ https://t.co/5eRSMpAUso
Congress responds to BJP's claims
Meanwhile, the Congress responded to the BJP's claims, saying the allegations show its desperation and attempts to discredit the BJY. Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee General Secretary Sachin Sawant noted the BJP's WhatsApp forward has no number or name, and it doesn't hold water. "It is the BJP which masters the art of arm-twisting celebrities to portray artificial support for them, not Congress," he tweeted.
Takes courage to stand against BJP agenda: Sawant
Sawant further tweeted, "It takes courage to stand against autocratic & divisive BJP agenda." "BJP's attempt to belittle their [celebrities'] honesty and malign their characters only shows how correct the stand of artists is." "Today's statement of PM (Narendra Modi) against [Bharat Joda Yatra] & such malicious propaganda from BJP only reaffirms our resolve and proves that the yatra is on the right track."