TMC's 'stooge' charge against ECI over Saket Gokhale's 2nd arrest
Just a day after Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Saket Gokhale was arrested again in a reported "fake tweet" allegation against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party leader Derek O'Brien attacked the Election Commission of India (ECI) for being biased. O'Brien accused ECI of "looking away" when a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief minister and a BJP MP "spread communal bile during Gujarat elections."
Gokhale being harassed by Gujarat Police: O'Brien
The senior TMC leader alleged that ECI arrested Saket Gokhale while he was on his way to the airport after getting bail in a case filed against him by the Gujarat police; however, they ignored all the reported hate speech by BJP leaders. Earlier, O'Brien had also claimed that Gokhale was "being harassed by Gujarat Police."
No wonder SC thinks EC is stooge: O'Brien
Taking to Twitter, Derek O'Brien wrote: "BJP CM & an actor turned BJP MP spread communal bile during Gujarat election. What does EC do ? Look away @SaketGokhale of @AITCofficial gets bail in one case filed by Gujarat Police & was on his way to airport. What does EC do? Arrest him" "No wonder SC thinks EC is stooge," he added.
O'Brien's post on Twitter
BJP CM an actor turned BJP MP spread communal bile during Gujarat election.— Derek O'Brien | ডেরেক ও'ব্রায়েন (@derekobrienmp) December 9, 2022
What does EC do ? Look away @SaketGokhale of @AITCofficial gets bail in one case filed by Gujarat Police was on his way to airport.
What does EC do? Arrest him
No wonder SC thinks EC is stooge
What is the Gokhale case?
Gokhale received bail after his appearance before the court following the end of his police custody. However, he was again arrested by the Morbi police for another offense registered there. The case stems from a tweet alleging that Narendra Modi's November Morbi visit allegedly cost the Gujarat government Rs. 30 crores, six times more than the compensation given to the Morbi bridge collapse victims.
PIB's fact-check report on Gokhale's tweet
Centre's fact-check division had zeroed in on Gokhale's tweet, which was attached by what seemed to be a clipping of a newspaper. "RTI revealed the PM's visit to Morbi cost Rs. 30 crore," it said. In its fact-check report on December 1, the Press Information Bureau (PIB) stated that it was fake and "no such RTI response was given."
What is the Morbi collapse incident?
On October 30, a suspension cable bridge over the Machchhu River in Gujarat's Morbi collapsed, claiming the lives of over 140 people and injuring many more. Only four days before the tragedy, the 143-year-old bridge was reopened after staying closed for many months for maintenance. This triggered a nationwide row, prompting authorities to book the concerned municipal officials and the private contractor company.