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Social media abuzz with fake Intelligence Bureau reports predicting results of Punjab & UP elections
The election season which is presently in full flutter in the country with five states witnessing polls in February and March, has also brought along with it a new problem which is proving to be a headache for Indian intelligence agencies.

Although the main role of intelligence agencies is to gather information on national security and terrorists, they are now busy unearthing the source of fake Intelligence Bureau reports predicting Assembly election results of Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. 

Moreover, the gravity of the situation can be assessed by the fact that these fake reports are openly circulating on social media and might influence the voters in the ongoing elections. According to reports, at least two such bogus surveys have been attributed to the Intelligence Bureau.

Presently, the agency is engaged in identifying the source of these reports. The content of these alleged fake reports which predict the performance of various political parties in the elections has been scrutinised and found to be `not genuine'.

While one such fake report declares a land slide victory for the BJP in UP, the other one says that Congress will emerge as the largest party in Punjab.

However, the IB has identified gaping holes in these reports which contradict their genuinity. As per IB officials, first of all they do not use the formats that have been used in these two reports. The UP election report uses the map format, which shows a thumping victory for the BJP in UP with over 285 seats. The report gives the SP-Congress alliance 65 plus seats followed by the BSP with around 40 seats.

The other report pertaining to Punjab elections has given the Congress 69 seats, 31 seats to AAP and 16 to the SAD-BJP combine. The reports also do not draw any logical conclusion from facts and prima facie look frivolous in nature and have probably been drafted with malafide intents.

As per IB officials, these fake reports have `confidential' and `only for home ministry' written on them, which is not a standard procedure of IB. Normally, the IB tags such documents with the word `secret' and never uses the comment `only for home ministry'.

Moreover, according to sources, although the bureau does prepare reports on elections, but not like the ones that are presently circulating on WhatsApp and other social media platforms. Genuine IB reports are prepared during polls focused on sensitive areas where polling is to be held and not on the outcome of the elections.

Sources say that it is ridiculous to predict results even before the polling has taken place. So far polling has taken place only for the first phase in Uttar Pradesh.

Apart from the faulty format, the reports also have a lot of spelling errors with even the names of political parties being misspelled which raise further doubts over their authenticity. The name and designation of the issuing officer is missing from both the reports, which never happens in a genuine report. 

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