“Stenographers of Delhi, unite!”: ‘Journalists’ face ridicule for identical tweets quoting ‘sources’ after Amit Shah tests positive for COVID-19

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A group of ‘journalists’ on Sunday faced public ridicule after they all tweeted identical social media posts quoting unnamed sources. Their tweets came moments after Home Minister Amit Shah said that he had tested for COVID-19 and was being admitted to a hospital.

Amit Shah

 

Amit Shah testing positive for COVID-19 assumed significance in light of his last cabinet meeting where he was seen next to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In his tweet, Shah had urged those, who came in contact with him, to isolate themselves.

But just when people wondered if PM Modi will quarantine himself, eagle-eyed among social media enthusiasts stumbled upon identical tweets by a group of ‘journalists’ in defence of PM Modi. The underlying theme of these tweets was that Shah testing positive for COVID-19 had not posed any health scare to Modi even though he was seen seated next to him without covering his face with a mask during the last cabinet meeting.

Sanket Upadhyay from NDTV wrote, “Govt sources say:
* #AmitShah attended cabinet meet Wednesday.
* Social distancing followed
* strict protocol at PM residence.
* Temperature checks, Aarogya Setu checks
* Cars not used internally
* Most meetings now virtual.”

Aman Sharma of Economic Times wrote, “Govt Sources: @AmitShah was present in last Cabinet Meeting, social distancing was strictly followed along with wearing of masks & as per strict protocol at PM house in last few months which includes Temperature checks, Aarogya Setu check & no use of internal cars to ferry people.”

Marya Shakil of CNN-News18 tweeted, “Govt sources say: There is a strict protocol at PM residence in the last few months. Temperature checks, Aarogya Setu checks, no use of internal cars to ferry people are some of the measures adopted. Most physical meetings are avoided and VCs are preferred instead.”

Vikas Bhadauria of ABP News wrote, “Sources: Amit Shah was present in the last Cabinet Meeting. Social distancing was strictly followed along with wearing of masks. strict protocol at PM residence in the last few months. Temp. checks, Aarogya Setu, no use of cars ferry people are some of the measures adopted.”

Nistula Hebbar of The Hindu newspaper wrote, “Govt sources say HM @AmitShah was present in the last Cabinet Meeting. Social distancing was strictly followed along with wearing of masks. “There is a strict protocol at PM residence in the last few months. Temperature checks, Aarogya Setu checks, no use of internal cars to ferry people are some of the measures adopted. Most physical meetings are avoided and VCs are preferred instead”- Govt sources.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had tweeted the photo of his last cabinet meeting, where Shah was seen seated next to him. A basic look at PM Modi’s Twitter timeline would have been enough to detect the anomaly in the source-based information disseminated, allegedly by government spin doctors to these ‘journalists.’ Shah attending the last cabinet meeting was in the public domain as tweeted by PM himself.

Soon, this became a topic of intense discussion on social media with many likening these ‘journalists’ to stenographers.





Prime Minister Modi is scheduled to attend the foundation laying function of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya on 5 August. He will have to cancel his visit to Ayodhya in the event that he went into self-isolation after Shah testing positive for COVID-19.

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