NEWS FAKE ALERT: Media wrongly labels SP MLA who distributed liquor to minors as BJP leader


JANUARY 8, 2019

HIGHLIGHTS
Nitin Agarwal, at whose event liquor bottles were distributed, is technically Samajwadi Party member.
His father Naresh had officially defected from SP to BJP in March 2018.
Nitin will get disqualified as a lawmaker if he officially resigns from SP.

CLAIM
Liquor bottles were served in lunch packets to minors at an event organised by Samajwadi Party (SP) MLA Nitin Agarwal in Uttar Pradesh’s Hardoi on Sunday.
However, while reporting about this incident, several news outlets wrongly branded Nitin as a BJP leader.
Some news websites described Nitin as BJP leader Naresh Agarwal’s son, while failing to mention that he is an MLA from SP.

TRUTH
The father-son duo (Naresh and Nitin) hosted Pasi Sammelan at the revered Shravan Devi temple in Hardoi.

People attending the event were in for a surprise as the food packets they received were stashed with bottles of alcohol along with “poori and sabzi”.
The same packets (with liquor) were also distributed to minor boys, one of who brandished the liquor bottle and said it has been given to him by Nitin.
Naresh, who was formerly with SP, left the democratic socialist party on March 12, 2018 and joined the BJP after SP chose actress Jaya Bachchan as its candidate for election to the Rajya Sabha.
In a bid to support his father’s Rajya Sabha membership, Nitin is believed to have voted for the BJP. Naresh had then said that his son would join and vote for BJP.
However, technically, Nitin is still a member of SP and is the sitting MLA of Hardoi constituency.

VERIFICATION AND METHODOLOGY
Under the anti-defection law, if a sitting lawmaker voluntarily resigns from his party to join any other party, his state legislature gets disqualified and a re-election takes place in the constituency.

For such a defection to happen, the MLA has to submit his resignation to the speaker of state legislative assembly.
Had Nitin done that, he would have ceased to be an MLA.
As per the current records of sitting MLAs in UP Vidhan Sabha’s official website, Nitin is still allied with SP.

Times Fact Check spoke to Nitin, who described himself as a BJP supporting SP MLA.

VERDICT
Times Fact Check has found claims of Nitin Agarwal being a BJP MLA to be factually incorrect. He is still a member of SP.

Source: TimesofIndia.com



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