The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking an investigation by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) into the alleged Congress toolkit, reported LiveLaw. "If you don't like the toolkit, ignore it", said Justice Chandrachud.
When petitioner Advocate Shashank Shekhar Jha told the apex court that there was propaganda in the alleged toolkit used the term "Indian variant" for the coronavirus mutant, Justice Chandrachud said, "India is a democracy, you know?" The judge further said that the time of the top court was being taken up by "frivolous petitions", the report added.
What is the 'toolkit' issue?
In May, several BJP leaders took to Twitter and shared two documents. The first was a 'toolkit', which they claimed was made by the Congress party to tarnish the image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Centre amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The second was a document on the Central Vista Project.
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said according to the document, it is clear that the Congress extending help to the needy during the pandemic is "more of a public relations exercise with the help of friendly journalists and influencers than a soulful endeavour". Patra alleged that the 'toolkit' has instructions for social media volenteers of Congress to call the new COVID-19 mutant as "Indian strain" or "Modi strain".
"Today, there is a toolkit doing rounds in media by Congress on COVID-19 pandemic. Through this toolkit, the country can see that how Congress is trying to strengthen its political ambitions when the country is in the midst of a health crisis. Congress is trying to defame the government of India, and thousands of people who are doing good work," Patra said.
He said there is a column in the 'toolkit' on "Prime Minister Narendra Modi's image", and under that there are instructions to "destroy his image and erode his popularity".
Patra further alleged that the toolkit has instructions to use "international media coverage by foreign correspondent in India that can be tailored to exclusively focus on Modi and his mismanagement", and "liaison with these foreign journalists and Indian oped writers in foreign publications and brief them on talking points." He said it also has instructions to "use dramatic pictures of funerals and dead bodies which is already being done by foreign media" and facilitate journalists by "local cadre in various districts to get the images".
Later, the Congress party said the document on Central Vista Project was authentic, however, the 'toolkit' was fake. Subsequently, the grand old party also filed cases against BJP ministers and leaders. Moreover, microblogging site Twitter also flagged the tweets of these leaders with "manipulated media" tag.