Aug 28, 2018: “BJP ministers and MPs donate for Kerala, don’t say that you have not received anything (translated),” reads a post shared by one Sreekumar Sreedharannair on Facebook. The caption is accompanied with an image of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan accepting a Rs 25 crore cheque. He is surrounded by several people, including BJP MP V. Muraleedharan and Alphons Kannanthanam, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism. The post has been shared over 10,000 times.
A few individual users on social media have also circulated the image with the identical narrative of BJP ministers donating money to CM Vijayan toward Kerala flood relief.
Money donated by oil companies
The Rs 25 crore cheque was not donated by BJP ministers, but central petroleum public sector companies on August 21. Since the cheque was presented to the Kerala CM by BJP MPs, they have been photographed together. This has assisted the narrative floating on social media that it is BJP MPs who have donated this sum to the flood-ravaged state.
BJP MP Muraleedharan had tweeted that he “handed over the cheque on behalf of oil marketing companies.” The same was also tweeted by Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited.
With Kerala reeling under devastating floods, a lot of misinformation related to relief work is circulating on social media, including a hoard of images and videos, often with the objective of political one-upmanship. It would be prudent to cross-check claims on social media with mainstream media reports.