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BJP cries hoarse, says he is ‘3rd party’ campaigner

The state BJP unit jumped into the defence of Mahesh Hegde, co-founder and editor of a news website and accused of peddling fake news in social media, soon after he was quizzed by CID’s cyber crime cell, on Wednesday.

Apart from BJP trending the hashtag #IStandWithMaheshHegde, state BJP general secretary Arvind Limbavali described him as a “third party” campaigner for prime minister Narendra Modi.

“In Mandya, people who worked against the JD(S) are being harassed. Now, BJP or Modi supporters like Hegde are being targetted,” he said.

Using the issue of a letter that Home Minister M B Patil had allegedly sent to Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, the state government has launched the investigation. We demand that Mahesh Hegde be released immediately,” Limbavali said, questioning whether the state would act against newspapers that published the same news.

Several BJP leaders and supporters started trending #IStandWithMaheshHegde, with BJP leaders Shobha Karandlaje and C T Ravi among the first to tweet
with the hashtag. As of 8.30 pm, there were over 15,000 tweets.

However, some twitter users took exception to the support extended to Hegde calling him a “serial offender,” and a regular purveyor of fake news on social media sites.

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