Amid Feud With Ramdev, Fake Account of Dr Lele Crops up on Twitter

·3-min read

After a clip of Dr Jayesh Lele, the general secretary of Indian Medical Association (IMA), taking on yoga guru-turned-entrepreneur, Ramdev, went viral on social media, a fake account of the IMA general secretary has cropped up on Twitter.

The account that was set up in February 2021 and goes by the username Dr जयेश एम लेले (@Dr_Jayesh_) has erased all tweets from before 29 March and regularly shares provocative content against Ramdev and the Government of India.

An archived version of the account can be accessed <a href="https://archive.st/kkvu" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:here" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">here</a>.
An archived version of the account can be accessed here.

Sensationalised Tweets Used as Appeal To Gain Followers

In a tweet dated Sunday, 30 May, the said account claimed that Dr Lele’s comments against Ramdev were not taken well by several politicians. He further added that he is not afraid of anybody and will support doctors. In the end of the tweet he also asked people to follow his account.

An archived version of the tweet can be accessed <a href="https://archive.st/lta9" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:here" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">here</a>.
An archived version of the tweet can be accessed here.

The tweet has garnered over 12,000 reactions and has been retweeted 2,600 times.

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In another tweet from the same day, the user asked people to follow their content if they support Dr Lele.

An archived version of the tweet can be accessed <a href="https://archive.st/aufs" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:here" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">here</a>.
An archived version of the tweet can be accessed here.

Ironically, the pinned tweet on the user’s timeline warns people against fake Twitter handles cropping up in Dr Lele’s name.

An archived version of the tweet can be accessed <a href="https://archive.st/3sut" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:here" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">here</a>.
An archived version of the tweet can be accessed here.

Several other tweets and replies on the user’s timline raised our suspicion and we decided to probe this further.

An archived version of the tweet can be accessed <a href="https://archive.st/h6z0" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:here" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">here</a>.
An archived version of the tweet can be accessed here.
An archived version of the tweet can be accessed <a href="https://archive.st/e2l9" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:here" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">here</a>.
An archived version of the tweet can be accessed here.

The User Earlier Operated as @Sandeep_News_24

Replies found on a tweet by this user, dated 14 May, indicated that the user now operating as ‘@Dr_Jayesh_’ was earlier functioning on Twitter with the username ‘@Sandeep_News_24’.

An archived version of the tweet can be accessed <a href="https://archive.st/lbcj" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:here" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">here</a>.
An archived version of the tweet can be accessed here.

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We were able to access a catched version of the account operated under @Sandeep_News_24 and found similar tweets on both the timelines.

Further, we reached out to Dr Lele who said that he doesn’t use Twitter.

"“These accounts are not operated by me. I don’t use Twitter. In fact, over the last few days several such fake accounts have cropped up in my name.”" - Dr Jayesh Lele, IMA General SecretaryWhy Is Dr Lele in News?

In a television broadcast by Hindi news channel, AajTak, Dr Lele took on yoga guru Ramdev and questioned the credibility of Coronil — a controversial drug promoted by Patanjali as a cure for COVID-19.

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Dr Lele, in a letter jointly written with IMA chief Dr JA Jayalal accused Ramdev of misleading the public and threatened to take him to court if the Health Ministry doesn’t take any action against him.

Clearly, a fake account impersonating Dr Jayesh Lele is gaining traction on Twitter as the debate between Ramdev and the IMA general secretary intensifies.

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