Fact Check

Fake Narrative Again: Rahul Gandhi Scores a Self Goal

In one of the earlier articles, titled Bursting Rahul Gandhi’s Imaginative Claims on Jaguar, The True Picture has explained how Rahul Gandhi can go up to any extent to malign the Modi Government.

In yet another attempt on October 23, 2018, Rahul Gandhi tweeted a story by The Wire (shown below), which is not only a fake news peddler (here) but a fake news creator too (here).

The Wire had published a story, titled Violating CIC Orders, MEA Withholds Names of Those Who Accompanied Modi on Foreign Visits on October 22, 2018. This story was about how the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) refused to divulge the information on people who traveled with the Prime Minister on his foreign visit.

The Wire, similar to Abhisar Sharma video episode, sensationalised this news too, saying that MEA is withholding the names of those who accompanied PM Modi on his foreign visits, violating Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) orders. This, to an average reader, may give an impression as if there is something suspicious about PM Modi foreign visits, which the current government does not want to come out with.

The Congress President Rahul Gandhi, who himself has been called out for a number of fake news by The True Picture many times in the past (here, here and here), has shared this news from his Twitter handle.

Here are the facts for Rahul Gandhi:
  • It is his Congress Party that had enacted the Right to Information (RTI) Act in the year 2005, with sections that exempt divulging certain sensitive information.
  • The copy of the RTI Act – 2005 with modification as on 2011, is shown below. Rahul Gandhi did not even realise that the information denied by the MEA is under the same section 8(1)(a) and 8(1)(g), which was specified by his own party led government in 2005.

  • As for Chief Information Commissioner’s orders, his office comes into existence due to the Right to Information Act 2005. Section 8(1) in the first line itself clearly mentions that “Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation” on the Government to give any citizen information which is of the sensitive nature and which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of our country India. Therefore, it’s not the violation of the office of Chief Information Commissioner because the RTI Act itself provides for the office of CIC under section 12. The government has statutory provisions under the RTI Act itself to withhold the information that it deems critical.

Rahul Gandhi tweeted the fake narrative of violation of CIC’s orders and MEA withholding the information about the people who accompanied Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his foreign visits. This may mislead the average readers into believing that MEA has violated the CIC’s order. The Congress President needs to realise that the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is a sensitive Department of Government of India, which maintains a strategic relationship of our country with other countries. It has rightfully withheld the information, which is within the ambit of the RTI Act 2005 enacted by the UPA Government.

So, the propaganda of the usual suspect The Wire is understandable as it may want to spread its fake narrative, but the tweet by Rahul Gandhi appeared to have scored a self-goal.

  • KS

    But yet what is the problem in divulging the names of people who accompanied the bachelor PM? While MEA may not be in violation of RTI or CIC for records, it does leave a question in the minds of people as to who are those people who get to travel with our PM. Based on his profile as made out for public consumption, PM is a celebate person, non meat eater, a non alcoholic & people were wondering how does he spend time along traveling long distances. If some people whose identities can’t be divulged are traveling with him, it does change our perception about his known profile. Should MEA allow such a consequence if the information is otherwise easily divulgable? By highlighting this, both the wire & Raul Gandy would have achieved their objectives of changing public perceptions about the PM – forget if they are complying with the rules or not!