Minister of State with Independent Charge for Power, Piyush Goel, on Sunday posted a tweet claiming an unprecedented success on illuminating Indian roads under the Centre’s Narendra Modi government.
His tweet read, “Govt. has illuminated 50,000 KM of Indian roads by retrofitting 30 lakh conventional street lights with LED lights. (sic)”
— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) August 20, 2017
His tweet also carried a statement from the government’s publicity department, Press Information Bureau.
The statement claimed, “The Government of India’s Street Lighting National programme (SLNP) has illuminated 50,000 KM of Indian roads with installation of 30 lakh LED street lights across the country. With this milestone Energy Efficiency Services Limited, a government of India company under the administration of Ministry of Power, has become the world’s largest street light management company.”
From Goyal’s tweet it appeared that some of the Indian roads had indeed been transformed into those often seen in developed western countries. But, as the luck would have it, some eagle-eyed Twitter users moved in with lightening speed to highlight that the photo used by Modi’s minister was not from India but it was of a Russian street.
User Joy Das sarcastically wrote, “After replacing LED lights in Canada, now BJP has replaced LED Lights in Russia. Massive respect for BJP and @PiyushGoyal.”
— Joy (@Joydas) August 20, 2017
Das was referring to an earlier tweet by BJP Delhi claiming success South Delhi Municipal Corporation, run by the saffron party, on replacing more than two lakh street lights with LED lights. The image used in that tweet (see above) with the photo of BJP’s Delhi president, Manoj Tiwari, was reportedly from Canada and not the national capital.
BJP has often been under flak for resorting to fake images in order to push its political narrative. The PIB had come under fire for photoshopping Modi’s aerial survey of Chennai floods last year.
(Mr Goyal deleted the tweet after our report went viral on social media platforms. We appreciate the minister’s decision. Mistakes happen and one needs courage to own and correct his/her them.)