The farmers from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh (West) on November 26, 2020, headed towards Delhi to show their discontent against the three new farm laws passed by the Parliament of India in September 2020. A disinformation campaign on social media platforms started against the farmers as soon as they started their rally towards Delhi.
In context to this, BJP Punjab has put a poster, explaining how farmers made profits out of the new MSP regime by selling the Kharif crop. In the same poster, BJP showed a picture of a farmer to give an impression that 'farmers are happy with the new farm laws.' They tweeted the poster to add to the narrative that many farmers are happy with the new farm laws and those protesting are misguided by the opposition parties.
The person in the BJP Punjab's poster later took to Twitter handle to show his resentment over the use of his photo on the poster.
The farmer on the poster of BJP Punjab is content with the farm laws.
The Logical Indian found that the farmer depicted in the poster is actually protesting against the farm laws at Singhu border.
The man in the poster is a Punjabi visual artist, having a social media handle named Harp Farmers. On December 22, Harp Farmers aka Harpreet Singh tweeted an image of him sitting in a tent, with a caption, "Born Farmer, Lost in Film Fair and I always stand with my Farmers."
On December 22, Harpreet had also tweeted showing resentment over the use of his photo by BJP on the poster. He also informed that he is protesting at Singhu border. He tweeted, "Besharmi Di Vi Koi Hadd Hundi Ae. Par Lagdaa Inaa Kol JIO De Unlimted Internet Waang Ina Kol Besharmi Di Hadd Vi Unlimted ae. Inaa Nu Dasso Innaa Daa Bhaapa Singhu Baithaa. Yadde Modi With Farmers De."( which translates in English as, "There is a limitation to shamelessness. But seems like just like Jio's unlimited internet, BJP's shamelessness has also no limit. Tell them their farmer is sitting at Singhu.")
OpIndia also did a story on Harpreet on December 22, saying, he was a model so BJP must have taken his image from the Stock Images.
On the claim made by OpIndia, Harpreet said that he had not approved BJP for the use of the image in support of farm laws. He also said that he had not sold his photo to any stock image sites. Harpreet told BoomLive, the image was from 2014 and he posted the image on his Facebook page in 2015. He said, "The photo was part of an abstract art photoshoot for a designer friend of mine. I posted the same on my Facebook account in 2015 and BJP has picked it up from there."
He has sent legal notice to BJP's unit of Punjab.
The BJP Punjab later replaced the photo with a representative image.
Many media houses including India Today did a similar story to show the success of farmers after passing of farm laws. Later Newslaundary busted the claim, saying no ground reporting was done in this story, instead, a circular was handed by the Central Government which the media used to report. Newslaundary reported, "On December 3, a day before its report was published on the website, several journalists across the mainstream media had received on WhatsApp a list of farmers and their "success stories" from the office of Prakash Javadekar, who heads the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. The material was sent in both English and Hindi, in pdf and doc formats."
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