Uttar Pradesh assembly elections are around the corner, and BJP led Uttar Pradesh govt has already started campaigns to boost its image.
A Bengaluru based advocate, Shishira Rudrappa, tweeted a photo on 12 July sarcastically saying the UP election campaign has begun in Karnataka. The photo is of hoarding which featured an advertisement with text in Hindi, "उत्तर प्रदेश देश में नं. 1," and "4 लाख युवाओं को सरकारी नौकरी" which translates to "Uttar Pradesh number one in the country" and "Government jobs to 4 lakh youth". As per him, the photo was taken en route to Bengaluru airport.
The hoarding has photos of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. The advertisement is issued by Information and Public Relations Department, Uttar Pradesh, as mentioned in the band at the bottom in Hindi, "सूचना एवं जनसम्पर्क विभाग, उत्तर प्रदेश".
Later in the evening on 12 July, advocate Shishira Rudrappa posted another photo through his Twitter handle. The image was the same advertisement hoarding, but outside the Delhi airport.
UP govt calls it fake, says no ads given in Karnataka
However, an IAS officer, Shishir Singh, Director of Information and Public Relations in the Uttar Pradesh government, instantly tweeted back to Rudrappa that no such advertisement has been issued in Karnataka. IAS officer Shishir Singh claimed that it is fake news and tagged state DGP and Cyber Police.
Immediately after IAS officer Shishir Singh's tweet, Cyber Police UP replied and assured appropriate legal action against advocate Shishira Rudrappa.
Soon, UP government-run fact-checking Twitter handle, Info Uttar Pradesh Fact Check, managed by the Information Department, posted a graphic and called the claim fake.
Lawyer Rudrappa stands by his tweet and provides more proof
Later at night, on 12 July, Rudrappa tweeted back to Shishir and stood by his previous tweets and supported them by posting a video of Bangalore airport that had the hoarding.
We looked at the JCDecaux website and found that Bangalore airport is listed as their client along with Delhi and Chennai Metro. The advertising agency has uploaded several photos of their work inside the airport and Bangalore airport premises.
On the following day, on 13 July, Rudrappa posted another video in which the hoarding was being removed.
Free Press Journal quoted Shishira Rudrappa saying, "It was just a harmless tweet, I saw the hoarding and shared a picture. The government of Uttar Pradesh has accepted that this hoarding was put up in Delhi, and similar ones have been seen in Maharashtra. I am guessing the Bengaluru one was put up by mistake, and so maybe it was taken down."
Bengaluru International Airport Limited has refrained from commenting on the matter and said the airport authority had nothing to do with the advertisement.
The Twitter exchange between Shishira Rudrappa and Shishir Singh went viral with netizens questioning the Uttar Pradesh government and the police for threatening Shishira Rudrappa with legal action for mere sharing the photo of a hoarding.
Netizens posted pictures of an advertisement hoarding from Delhi and confirmed that they have spotted the same hoarding outside Uttar Pradesh.
'Yuva Halla Bol', a youth movement organisation for students, shared hoarding images in Delhi.
The national coordinator of Halla Bol, Govind Mishra, also posted a similar picture of hoarding all over Delhi.
Therefore, we can conclude that the prima facie of a claim made by Bengaluru based advocate Shishira Rudrappa looks true. The advertisement hoardings of similar descriptions have been put up outside Uttar Pradesh also.
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