BJP flayed for ‘missed call’ campaign

NEW DELHI, JAN 5 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 1/5/2020 11:15:09 AM IST

With the BJP and the Centre coming in for intense criticism for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the party had begun a campaign asking people to give a missed call to a number to “register” their support for the controversial law. While reports said that the BJP IT cell would also “give a push” to the campaign on social media outlets, the strategy took a rather interesting turn, as it later emerged.

A number — earlier shared by BJP leaders like Amit Shah asking people to give missed calls to show support for the CAA— is now being shared by many Twitter accounts pretending to be bored women looking for companionship.

From offers of “100 percent guaranteed” jobs to promises of free Netflix subscriptions and mobile internet data to discounts on premium watches and private hot chats, several accounts on Twitter are asking users into sending missed calls to the BJP’s toll-free number launched two days ago to register people’s endorsement for the contentious CAA.

Just to obtain the ‘missed call’ many Twitter accounts had begun misleading their followers into calling the number on pretexts that callers would get in touch with phone sex operators. While some of the accounts claimed that they were doing it as a “prank”, evidence suggests many are linked to the BJP IT cell. At least one of the prominent accounts which tweeted misleading information about the phone number is followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

When the “tactics” came to the attention of other Twitter users, they accused the BJP of resorting to “desperate measures” in “desperate times”.

More Twitter users poked fun at the strategy, with one person asking people to call the Prime Minister’s Office to remind him of the promise to deposit Rs 15 lakh in every person’s bank account.

Streaming platform Netflix joined in, saying if somebody wanted a free subscription, they should just use another person’s account, “like the rest of us”. “This is absolutely fake. If you want free Netflix please use someone else’s account like the rest of us,” Netflix India tweeted.

Oppn spreading confusion: BJP

BJP on Sunday claimed opposition parties are spreading confusion over a toll free number it has issued to seek people’s support on the amended Citizenship Act. 

BJP hit out at opposition parties after several memes and misleading posts emerged on social media about the number (8866288662).

Hours after BJP president Amit Shah said rumours were being spread about the number and noted that it belonged to his party and not to Netflix, as claimed in some posts, the party held a press conference to slam those spreading confusion over it.

Noting that vulgar claims are also being made, such as people can speak to lonely girls by dialling this number, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said the exercise should not be reduced to ridicule.

“Opposition leaders are doing politics over such a positive step,” Patra said, adding that the BJP has worked to fix a decades-old issue like citizenship for persecuted minorities from neighbouring countries by enacting the CAA. 

Naga Hoho, NSF slam state BJP

 KOHIMA, JAN 5 (NPN): Naga Hoho (NH) and Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) criticized the state BJP for launching the “missed call” campaign in support of CAA, which sparked nationwide protests after it was passed.

Reacting to BJP’s campaign in support of CAA launched by BJP state president and minister Temjen Imna Along; Naga Hoho has termed it as “ridiculous” as BJP knew that Nagas were against the Act.

NH general secretary Elu Ndang informed Nagaland Post that the launch by BJP tantamount to demeaning people’s voice. Further, he said it was unfortunate that “our own elected member” ignored the sentiments of people he represented  just to please his bosses in Delhi.

Ndang also demanded to know as to what was the advantage of CAA in Nagaland and what the BJP president was expected to consider the sentiments of his people he represents. He reiterated that CAA will never be accepted and that people will remain opposed to it.  

Expressing similar views, NSF president Ninoto Awomi said that even though state BJP president, Temjen Imna Along may have followed the directive of the central BJP, he should have kept in mind the sentiments of the Nagas that have been hurt by the passage of CAB.

Therefore, Ninoto said the missed call initiatives was like provoking the general public. “As a Naga leader, he should choose to rather respect the sentiments and wishes of the people,” he added. (Correspondent)

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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