Celebrities agreed to promote parties, for cash: Sting op

Age Correspondent With Agency Inputs

India, All India

It said that the party in question was, in most of the cases, the BJP and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Congress in some cases.

Cobrapost editor Aniruddha Bahal addresses a press conference in New Delhi on Tuesday. (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: The investigative portal, Cobrapost, has come out with another sting claiming that 36 Bollywood celebrities were prepared to promote a political party for money by posting favourable messages on their social media accounts to help create a favourable environment in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The celebrities include several actors, comedians, singers, and other film artists from Bollywood.

It said that the party in question was, in most of the cases, the BJP and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Congress in some cases.

“The names of political parties were used, in good faith and public interest, for narrative purpose only. This is not an insinuation of their actual involvement in the practice. The investigation was made to expose the celebs willing to endorse a political agenda in return for monetary gains,” Cobrapost added.

Representing a fictitious public relations (PR) agency and taking on aliases, Cobrapost reporters approached these celebrities with a simple question if s/he was willing to promote a political party discreetly on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Almost all of the above celebs concurred to do it for a fee, Cobrapost said.

“These celebrities did not blink an eye before saying ‘aye’ to the proposition, asking for a fee which ranged between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 50 lakh per message. Some even quoted a fee of  Rs 20 crore for an eight-month contract,” it added.

“The larger issue is the sway these celebrities hold on their gullible followers,” it said.

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