Even in the times of the second wave of the coronavirus outbreak, leftist propagandists continue to spread fake news.
AAP-leaning YouTuber Dhruv Rathee today hinted that the government had spent Rs. 300 crore on the construction of the Ram Mandir. “Statue of Unity: ₹3000 Crore. Central Vista: ₹20,000 Crore. Ram Mandir: ₹300 Crore. BJP New Party Office: ₹700 Crore. Imagine if they spent all this money on hospitals and health facilities. How many more lives could’ve been saved?” he tweeted.
Now Dhruv Rathee deliberately kept things vague, by not specifying who exactly had spent the amounts he’d listed. The Statue of Unity had been party funded through the CSR budgets of companies, and the BJP Party office had been funded through the party’s own funds. But the most egregious claim seemed to be Dhruv Rathee’s insinuation that the government had spent Rs. 300 crore on the Ram Mandir.
Rathee was then called out by Anshul Saxena. “Ram Mandir: ₹300 Crore?” he tweeted. “This is fake news Fact is that Rs 300 crore is for the construction of the approach road to Shri Ram Janambhoomi Temple. Show me the original source from the UP govt budget that Rs 300 Crore is for construction of Ram Mandir itself. I’m waiting,” he tweeted.
At this point, Dhruv Rathee responded with a news clipping instead of an original source, linking to a News 18 article whose headline said that the UP government was going to spend Rs. 300 crore on the Ram Mandir. In the article, UP’s Finance Minister had said that a provision of Rs. 300 crore had been made for the construction of the Ram Mandir, and the access road leading to it.
But Anshul Saxena wasn’t done — he then shared the UP government’s official press release saying that Rs. 300 crore was to be spent on the construction of the approach road, and Rs. 140 for the overall beautification of Ayodhya.
It was clear that the government was spending Rs. 300 crore to make the approach road to the temple, and not spending the money on the temple itself. This seemed to be a mistake that several news outlets had made — even Firstpost had a headline which said that the UP government was spending Rs. 300 crore on the Ram Mandir, while its article had specified that the money was meant was for the approach road.
But Dhruv Rathee didn’t seem to have read beyond the headlines, and ended up claiming that the government was spending Rs. 300 crore on the Ram Mandir. The Ram Mandir has instead raised Rs. 2,100 crore from donations from ordinary citizens towards the building of the temple, and all the way back in 2020, the trust had announced that it would use no government money to build the temple.
After this information was shared, Dhruv Rathee tried to divert the topic, sharing other news clippings, but Anshul Saxena was adamant. “Don’t play such games. Clarify & apologize for spreading fake news. Be sincere. And, kindly RT this news from your favorite NDTV which also says that Rs 300 Crore are for road construction, not for Ram Mandir,” he wrote, adding a news clipping from NDTV which clearly said that the Rs. 300 crore was for road construction, not for the Ram Mandir.
Dhruv Rathee then disappeared, and is yet to respond. His original tweet, containing the fake news, remains up and has gathered over 6,000 RTs.