Odisha Elections 2024: Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain Says His Viral Picture With VK Pandian Fake, Appeals To Ignore It

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain has termed a viral photo showing him seeking blessings from BJD leader VK Pandian as fake and appealed to people not to believe it.

The picture with Pandian putting his left hand on the head of Swain as a gesture of blessing evoked criticism particularly among the voters of Athagarh Assembly constituency where the minister is contesting as BJD candidate.

The Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Empowerment, Fisheries & Animal Resources Development responded to the viral photo in a post in X. He claimed that the photo is a morphed one.

He said it was taken from an original photo taken long time back. At the time, he had gone to meet senior leader of the party Damodar Rout and sought his blessings. He also shared the original photo and the morphed one to drive his point.

“Some miscreants are circulating my fake image on social media. I urge everyone to refrain from believing in such news and check the sources thoroughly before forwarding and believing,” the minister said in the post.

He also appealed to the spokesperson of the Election Commission of India (ECI) to take stringent action against these miscreants.

Speaking to the media, Swain said he had met Rout in the Legislative Assembly during his swearing-in ceremony.  “As a younger leader, I had sought the blessings of Rout in presence of other party leaders. It was a normal gesture. But somebody has replaced Rout’s picture with that of Pandian,” he said.

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