A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's surprise visit to Ladakh, many had expressed confusion over the photos where the PM can be seen interacting with the soldiers injured in June's Galwan Valley clash.
Wondering whether it was a "marketing gimmick" using a "staged" hospital ward, or a real medical facility, many had taken to social media platforms to voice their opinions. "I have never seen a hospital only with beds without a single medical equipment," tweeted Ashok Swain, a professor at Uppsala University, Sweden. Others echoed similar sentiments, even as some Twitter users tried toexplain that there was a reasonable explanation for the decor.
Amid the rumours, the Defence Ministry later stepped in to clarify that the "said facility is part of Crisis Expansion capacity of 100 beds and is part of Gen Hospital complex."
Slamming those who had indulged in "malicious and unsubstantiated" rumormongering, the Ministry said: "The injured braves have been kept there since their arrival from Galwan to ensure quarantine from COVID areas. The Chief of Army Staff General M M Naravane and the Army Commander have also visited the injured braves in the same location."
Since then, the narrative has shifted somewhat, with fact-checkers disproving the claims of social media users, even as others blamed "members of Congress" for spreading a false narrative.
Reacting to the same, Congress leader Sanjay Jha on Saturday said that he was "extremely disappointed" by some members of his party.
"I am extremely disappointed that some members of my party are indulging in fake news ( we have been criticizing BJP for mastering the art all these years). This is irresponsible, embarrassing. I am concerned that we appear desperate to get a PhD in trolling. Grow up, guys!" he tweeted.
In recent days, Jha has repeatedly clashed with fellow party members. He was removed as a Spokesperson of the Congress in June. As his updated Twitter bio put it, “Sacked as National Spokesperson for writing: India needs a reawakened and revitalized Congress, ready to win the second freedom struggle”.
More recently, on Saturday, Jha took to Twitter to announce his decision to resign as President of Congress' AIPC Maharashtra unit.