Aamir Khan created a stir last year when he made remarks about the growing intolerance in the country and soon after, the actor’s contract as ambassador of Snapdeal ended. While the timing seemed coincidental, a new book quoting a former BJP social media cell volunteer Sadhavi Khosla reveals that the BJP IT cell head manipulated the e-commerce company to drop the actor. Khosla said that the BJP social media cell was instructed by the cell head Arvind Gupta to start a campaign to remove Aamir as the face of Snapdeal, according to a report in Indian Express.
Khosla shared WhatsApp messages that are allegedly from Gupta with the comments, “Sign the Petition to Snapdeal India. Appeal Snapdeal to drop Aamir Khan from their ads,” along with a link to the petition. In another more aggressive message, Gupta remarks, “Time to attack Snapdeal like…(we) did with greenply plywood and forced them to withdraw the defamatory ad!! Snapdeal customer care number…& threaten of negative publicity & ruining business if amir khan is not kicked out from brand ambassadorship!! Let’s show Hindu unity.”
Journalist Swati Chaturvedi, who authored the book in question I Am A Troll, further added that as part of the party’s smear campaign against the actor, they used the help of the Hindu Defence League (HDL) to revive a 2005 story on Aamir Khan’s alleged love child. The article, titled ‘2 Year Old Jaan@ The child Aamir Khan abandoned’, was floated on social media by the HDL. The effects of Aamir’s statements can even be felt a year later as many had called for a boycott of his latest release Dangal.
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Gupta, however, has denied the claims, saying that Khosla, who left her BJP post last year, was a Congress supporter. He further added that due to an internal restructuring of the party, he had not supervised the cell since 2015 and had never instructed anyone to pressure Snapdeal.