Pradeep Pattanayak

BJD’s candidate for the Athagarh Assembly constituency, Ranendra Pratap Swain on Tuesday claimed that the viral photo in which he is seen being blessed by BJD leader VK Pandian is a morphed one. 

While the viral photo has been a matter of discussion in the Athagarh area, Swain took to his X handle (formerly Twitter) and posted the original and the morphed picture side by side. 

In the photo what he claims to be the original one, senior leader late Damodar Rout is seen blessing him putting his hand on his head. In the fake one, in place of Rout, VK Pandian is seen blessing him. 

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In his X post, Swain said, “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.”

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

While replying to queries of journalists, Swain said, “After my victory in the by-election, I sought the blessings of Damodar Rout in the Odisha Legislative Assembly at the time of my swearing-in ceremony. They are deriving pleasure in replacing Damodar Rout’s photo with the one of Pandian.  There is nothing to be worried about. We have already drawn the attention of the ECI to this effect.”

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