Congress prepared the Central Vista document; however, it is unclear who the creator of the alleged COVID-19 "toolkit" is.
The alleged toolkit shared by multiple BJP leaders pertains to two themes, spanning four pages each - the COVID-19 toolkit highlights Narendra Modi's mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Central Vista document showcasing the redevelopment of Central Vista as Modi's vanity project. In addition, the toolkit covers various online and on-ground communication strategies, including using keywords like "super spreader Kumbh," "Modi strain," and other such terms to attack the BJP.
The Wire reported Rajeev Gowda, Chairman of the AICC research department, and Rohan Gupta, INC's social media chairman, responding to BJP's accusation. Gowda and Gupt said that the BJP shared fabricated content under the guise of a toolkit by forging the letterhead of the AICC Research Department on the screenshots shared by its members. They complained to the Delhi Police Commissioner, urging him to file a First Information Report (FIR) against certain leaders of the BJP. India Today stated that Congress formally wrote to Twitter seeking the suspension of various BJP leaders' accounts for spreading false information. However, Delhi Police reportedly has not lodged an FIR in the matter.
On May 19, 2021, to show that the screenshots shared by the BJP were legitimate, Sambit Patra, BJP's chief spokesperson, tweeted screenshots of the metadata of the Central Vista document, also identifying how the author of the document is associated with AICC. Gowda responded that the AICC prepared a research note on Central Vista but not on COVID-19 mismanagement. According to the Wire, Gowda accused Patra of tweeting the properties of the original Central Vista note prepared by the AICC and attributing the same to a fake version about COVID-19 mismanagement created by the BJP. Logically in its fact check highlights the discrepancies between the letterhead used in the Central Visa document and the COVID-19 toolkit shared by BJP functionaries and affirmed that the letterhead used in the toolkit is likely forged. The metadata shared in Patra's screenshot shows that the Central Visa document has six pages, while BJP functionaries have shared a total of eight pages of the toolkit. It is evident that the two documents are distinct, and the metadata shared by Patra is of the Central Vista document that the INC has vouched to be authentic and that the BJP functionaries have failed to provide the metadata/ digital footprint of the COVID-19 toolkit.
According to an India Today report, On May 19, 2021, Congress's Gowda and Gupta approached Chhattisgarh Police to register an FIR on the same grounds listed in their earlier May 18 complaint to Delhi Police.
On May 21, 2021, Twitter marked Patra's tweet regarding the toolkit as "Manipulated Media," indicating that the shared media was "deceptively altered or fabricated." The Hindu reported that the BJP ruled Union Government has objected to Twitter's labeling, and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has written to Twitter asking it to remove the "Manipulated Media" tag as "the matter is pending investigation before a law enforcement agency."
On May 22, Congress wrote to the Delhi Police, asking it to withdraw and transfer the complaint dated May 18 from Delhi Police's jurisdiction to Chhattisgarh Police. Despite the request to withdraw and transfer the case, Delhi Police's Special Cell, working under the Union Home Ministry controlled by the BJP, visited Twitter India's Delhi and Haryana offices to give the company notice.
Subsequently, INC wrote to the Police Commissioner in Delhi, stating that since the Chhattisgarh Police had registered an FIR, Delhi Police did not have jurisdiction to investigate the matter. However, it is important to note that there cannot be two FIRs for the same offense in India.
It is clear that the Central Vista document was prepared by the Indian National Congress (INC); however, it is unclear who is the creator of the alleged COVID-19 toolkit. The BJP functionaries who shared screenshots of the COVID-19 toolkit have not yet provided the original document- either in PDF or Word- to prove its authenticity. Thus, the uncertainties regarding the inconsistencies between the documents shared have remained unaddressed. Until a forensic examination of the original document is not conducted, it will be impossible to ascertain the toolkit's authenticity. Logically will update the fact check with more information once it is publicly available.