The video, originally posted on the Aam Aadmi Party Facebook group, has been shared over 15,000 times.
New Delhi: A Facebook post shared on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Facebook group alleges that a BJP member of Parliament, Ashok Saxena, has said that using solar energy angers the sun god—which is why BJP supporters are now destroying solar panels.
The video accompanying the post shows people breaking solar panels with hammers and sticks.
However, Ashok Saxena—the BJP MP who claimed the wrath of the sun god would befall those harnessing solar energy—doesn’t exist.
There are only two BJP MPs in the Lok Sabha named Ashok: Ashok Kumar Doharey from Uttar Pradesh, and Ashok Mahadeorao Nete from Maharasthra.
There is no BJP MP named Ashok in the Rajya Sabha.
The video of people wrecking the cells on a solar farm first surfaced in February. Workers in Maharashtra allegedly destroyed the solar panels because they hadn’t been paid their wages, and protested by breaking the panels.
This video, uploaded on the YouTube channel of Climate Samurai, says the incident took place in Chalisgaon, Maharashtra. Climate Samurai is an Indian news portal that focuses entirely on renewable energy, environment and climate-related coverage.
NDTV anchor, Gargi Rawat, also posted Climate Samurai’s video, tweeting that it “really hurts”. Rawat covers environment-related issues.
This really hurts? Wish this had been handled better by authorities, optics so bad-
Solar panels at 100 Mw solar plant in Maharashtra vandalized due to non payment of wages https://t.co/KhBqsshyoX
— Gargi Rawat (@GargiRawat) February 20, 2018
The fake post, has however, been widely shared on Twitter, including by some users in Pakistan.
One Pakistani user posted the same video, saying that they’re “happy to know there are idiots across the border too”. The video has been seen over 9,000 times.
So happy to know there are idiots across the border too??
Do you have any idea what they are doing? Ashok Saxena,Indian Parliament Member(BJP)said if people use solar energy, the Sun God will get angry . Now BJP Sanghis started destroying solar panels!!!??? pic.twitter.com/6KHyinQJmF
— حکیم بُڈَّھن (@2wittermafia) March 28, 2018
Incidentally, the same video went viral in February. On that occasion it had been shared by a BJP supporter, Gaurav Pradhan. He claimed that destroying the panels was an “act of anti-Modi gang”, the intention of which was to “derail” the “solar power mission” of the government.
Gaurav Pradhan has over 1.23 lakh followers, one of whom is Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The tweet itself had over 1,000 retweets.
It was also shared earlier this week on a Facebook paged called ‘Right Thinkers’, and was shared nearly 22,000 times.
Earlier this month, Maharashtra Power Minister Chandrashekhar Bavankule announced that there are plans of generating electricity in the state purely through solar power.
The solar park where this incident took place was in the news for clearing forest land to build the solar park.