With mere months left before the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls begin, campaign efforts have been ramped up, purportedly reaching other states. A photo shared on Twitter recently indicated that billboards featuring Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had cropped up. But the claim was soon mired in controversy, with an IAS officer dubbing it fake news, the UP Cyber Police stating that it would take legal action and several articles rushing to fact-check the post.
The fact-checks however may have been a tad preemptive. The user in question insists that the post is accurate, even sharing a video clip from the area in question. Others on Twitter have also backed the claim, stating that they themselves had seen similar posters.
"UP election campaign has begun in Karnataka," tweeted Shishira Rudrappa one of the co-founders of legal news website Bar & Bench on July 12. While the attached photo prominently featured the poster, the location was not immediately clear.
"Be responsible. Don’t spread fake news please. No such advertisement given anywhere in the State of Karnataka," criticised IAS officer Shishir. He is incidentally the director of Information and Public relations, and Culture for the government of Uttar Pradesh. In his tweet he also tagged the UP Cyber Police and the state DGP.
The Cyber Police was quick to respond, stating that "appropriate legal action" would be taken against the Twitter handle in question.
Since then, there have been several developments. Rudrappa took to twitter once again on Monday night, sharing a video clip that appeared to have been taken from the stretch of road in front of the poster.
Several others have also stepped up to support the claim. "I’ve personally seen 2 such posters near Kempegowda International Airport. This is not a fake news," tweeted one user in response to the IAS officer's tweet.
Others stated that similar posters had also emerged in other states. "I landed in delhi. Here is another picture. This is right outside the Delhi airport," shared another user tweeting out a similar photo.
Later updates indicate that the billboard is now being taken down. A fresh video shared on Tuesday afternoon show two individuals rolling up the poster.