Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): With the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections slated to be held on November 17, fake and dubbed videos of politicians have flooded social media in the state.
Almost daily, a fake video involving one politician or the other, surfaces on social media and leads to a war of words between the ruling BJP and the Opposition party Congress. In some cases, political parties have even lodged police complaints accusing their opponents of hatching conspiracies against them in order to get an edge in the forthcoming election. Even though the state police and the Election Commission are keeping a close watch in order to prevent the spread of misinformation on social media, it has not stopped the inflow of doctored messages and videos.
A fake video of Madhya Pradesh Congress President Kamal Nath that was widely circulated on social media led to a fresh brawl between the BJP and the Congress. The fake video was circulated purportedly to create confusion regarding the future of the BJP Government's flagship 'Ladli Behna Yojana.' In the doctored video, Kamal Nath's voice has been dubbed in such a way that he can be heard saying, "If the Congress party comes to power, we will first stop the Ladli Behna Yojana."
BJP attacked Congress
As this fake video surfaced on social media platforms, the media cell of the ruling BJP lost no time in taking advantage of it and trained its guns on the Congress through a flurry of posts. The BJP's spokespersons swung into action and started claiming that this (stopping of the Ladli Behna Yojana) would really happen if the Kamal Nath-led Congress Government came back to power in the state.
An infuriated Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) later lodged a police complaint regarding the fake video and alleged that it was done with the intent to create confusion in the minds of the electorate and was a clear case of political vendetta.
On the basis of the complaint, the police registered a case against an unidentified person under Sections 469 (forgery with intent to harm reputation), Section 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) 505 (2) (statements conducting public mischief) against the owner of a mobile number.
Doctored video of CM Chouhan
Another doctored video surfaced a few days ago in which Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan could be heard expressing fears about the outcome of the forthcoming election and voicing uncertainty about the chances of the BJP winning against the Congress' Kamal Nath. In the viral video, Chouhan can allegedly be heard saying, "I have been saying several times, stop Kamal Nath. If the Congress comes to power, they will start giving cooking gas at Rs 500. Then forget about this time, even next time we will not be able to win. "We have just announced for the sake of it that we'll give everyone a (cooking) gas cylinder at Rs 450 rupees. They (Congress) will actually give it because they are already giving it at that price in other states. Do anything but stop Kamal Nath." Later it turned out to be a fake video and it was found that the audio was overlaid in the video to make the claim.
Last month, a short clip of Amitabh Bachchan's popular game show 'Kaun Banega Crorepati' surfaced on social media, wherein a question was posed: "Who is referred to as an announcement machine." Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's name was among the four options given to the contestants.
However, the Public Relations Department of Madhya Pradesh Government has refuted the video's legitimacy and accused its creator of trying to sully the Chief Minister's image. The creators of the show issued a statement shortly after the video sparked outrage. In reaction to the criticism, Sony TV also made a statement on X, stating that the viral video contains a "fabricated voice-over" of the host and contains twisted content.