NEW DELHI — In an attempt to gain maximum votes and political mileage in the ongoing elections, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) resorted to a cheap gimmick as a fake picture of the IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthanam is being shared on social media urging voters to vote for the ruling party.
The picture is going viral on Facebook and other social media platforms with a claim that the Indian Air Force pilot supporting the BJP and that he has voted for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The pilot’s doppelganger, in photo, having Varthaman’s trademark handlebar moustache and a pair of Ray Ban sunglasses can be seen wearing a muffler with the BJP’s symbol of a lotus on it.
Upon examining the picture closely, the viral picture itself narrates its falsehood and the people are pointing out the deception of the political party. The Indian Air force has also reportedly declared the poster as fake.
The Hindi caption of the viral post urges people to vote for the BJP.
The Indian constitution does not allow serving armed forces personnel to be a part of political campaigns.
The IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthanam was captured when his fighter jet was shot down by Pakisatn army in February 27 dogfight. The pilot was later released as a gesture of peace by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.
According to the critics, BJP hopes the government’s recent tough stand against Pakistan will help it retain its popularity despite suffering a setback in December when it lost three key state elections to the opposition Congress party.