The CobraPost, an Indian non profit journalism organisation, conducted a sting operation, which exposed approximately 30 celebrities. The sting operation brought to light the celebrities who took money to promote political parties on their social media handles, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
The CobraPost named the sting operation ‘Operation Karaoke,’ which revealed how famous people with more than lakhs of followers agreed to personally promote politicians. The list contains 30 names, including celebrities from Bollywood, comedians, artists and singers.
Aniruddha Bahl, the Editor in Chief of The Cobra Post, addressed the media and said, “They would defend the government even on controversial issues such as rape and fatal accidents such as bridge collapses. They were even willing to sign a dummy contract for endorsement of products to disguise the real nature of the proxy political campaigning that they were willing to do.”
Speaking about the mode of transactions, Bahl said, many of them were ready to share their PAN card and bank account details, but the majority preferred cash.
The operation, conducted in the year 2018, had media reporters posing as representatives of political parties. The reporters asked the celebrities to promote politicians in return for money. Some of them accepted the offer, whereas some of them refused it.
Those who declined to do the stated were actors like Vidya Balan, Arshad Warsi, Raza Murad and Saumya Tandon.
Popular names such as Sunny Leone, Sonu Sood, Vivek Oberoi, Shakti Kapoor, Rohit Roy, Baba Sehgal, Abhijeet Bhattacharya, Kailash Kher, Mika Singh and Jackie Shroff were included in the list of celebrities who took up the offer.
The list further contained other names such as Amisha Patel, Mahima Chaudhary, Puneet Issar, Surendra Pal, Shreyas Talpade, Pankaj Dheer, Tisca Chopra, Deepshikha Nagpal, Akhilendra Mishra, Rahul Bhat, Salim Zaidi, Rakhi Sawant, Aman Verma, Hiten Tejwani, Hiten’s wife Gauri Pradhan, Evelyn Sharma, Minissha Lamba, Koena Mitra and Poonam Pandey.
Comedians such as Raju Shrivastav, Sunil Pal, Rajpal Yadav, Upasana Singh, Krushna Abhishek and Vijay Ishwarlal Pawar were also exposed in the sting operation.
The others whose names cropped up in the list were choreographers like Ganesh Acharya and Sambhavana Seth.
However, some of the exposed celebrities denied the allegations and claimed, the video which showed them accepting the proposal was wrongly produced.
Stay tuned for further updates