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    Posted on 8 Jun 2016

    Twitter Users Suspect Someone Is Paying To Trend Hashtags Against "Udta Punjab" And Kejriwal

    Something's not quite right there.

    A lot of big names have stood up against the heavy censorship that has hit Indian cinema in recent times, the latest casualty being the Anurag Kashyap-produced Udta Punjab.

    twitter.com

    The Censor Board has refused to clear the film without heavy cuts being enforced.

    Among the more vocal supporters of filmmakers' rights to express themselves has been AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal.

    #UdtaPunjabCensored What else cud one expect in Modi regime?

    Earlier today, Censor Board chief Pahlaj Nihalani alleged that the film's producers had taken money from Kejriwal to fund the film and portray the state of Punjab in a bad light.

    Getty Images / STRDEL

    The film sheds light on the growing drug crisis in Punjab and has been vehemently opposed by its ruling party and BJP ally, the Akali Dal.

    Almost immediately after Nihalani's comments, the hashtag #UdtaKejriFundsUdtaPunjab became the top trend on Twitter.

    Twitter: @hashtag

    People using the hashtag mainly attacked Kejriwal over Nihalani's claims.

    However, many users pointed out that numerous tweets under the hashtag were exactly identical.

    The tweets seemed to point towards a concentrated effort by someone to malign Kejriwal and steer the controversy away from the government and the censor board.

    Screenshots of an alleged email by social media marketing firm BuzzOne soon surfaced, which informed the receiver about the hashtag, when to start tweeting, and even some sample tweets.

    With the screenshots going viral, users have now been left wondering who is trying to trend the hashtag.

    So who is funding this trend? BJP? Nihalani?

    Reality of PAHLAJ NIHALANI & AKALI DAL. Started PAID CAMPAIGN to MALIGN UDTA PUNJAB. SHAMEFUL! @mihirfadnavis

    BuzzFeed has reached out to BuzzOne and is awaiting a reply.

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