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An FIR has been registered against Congress President Sonia Gandhi in Karnataka's Shivamogga over allegedly "misleading tweets" pertaining to the PM CARES fund on Thursday, 21 May.
FIR filed against Congress President Sonia Gandhi in Shimoga, #Karnataka for alleged "misleading tweets" made from @INCIndia handle on May 11 about #PMCares fund. FIR registered under IPC sections 153,505. Investigation underway. @IndianExpress pic.twitter.com/iHglnD7OUL— Ralph Alex Arakal (@ralpharakal) May 21, 2020
A case has been filed against Sonia Gandhi under sections 153 and 505 of the Indian Penal Code. The FIR has been lodged at Sagar Town Police Station in Shivamogga on Thursday.
"They called PM-CARES fund a fraud. They said on their Twitter that it is not being used for public and that the PM is going on foreign trips using this fund. These are rumours against the government in the situation of COVID-19, so I filed a complaint (against Sonia Gandhi) [sic]," Advocate KV Praveen Kumar.
On May 11, the party's Twitter handle, @INCIndia, had put out a series of tweets on the PM-CARES fund, using the hashtag 'PMCareFraud'.
If the PM CARES fund is not being used for transport of migrants, repatriation of Indians from abroad or providing a financial stimulus, what is it being used for?#PMCareFraud pic.twitter.com/ZPrMdEyWbB— Congress (@INCIndia) May 11, 2020
"These messages tweeted from the official Twitter handle of the All India Congress Committee headed by Sonia Gandhi mentions the PM CARES as something that is not used for the welfare of the citizens of the country. Instead, it is used for his personal interests including foreign trips," Praveen told The Indian Express.
PM-CARES was created on March 27 this year and is headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as ex-officio members of the trust.
The government, on May 13 allocated Rs 3,100 crore from the PM-CARES Fund to be used to fight the COVID-19 crisis.
"Out of Rs 3,100 crore, a sum of approximately Rs 2,000 crore will be earmarked for the purchase of ventilators, Rs 1,000 crore will be used for care of migrant labourers and Rs 100 crores will be given to support vaccine development," Prime Minister Narendra Modi's office said in a statement.
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