Bollywood celebrities ready to tweet for money: Sting

Bollywood celebrities ready to tweet for money: Sting

Bollywood celebrities ready to tweet for money: Sting

Addressing a press conference here, Cobrapost editor-in-chief Aniruddha Bahl said the sting revolves around 36 celebrities agreeing to post messages on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts to help create a favorable environment for certain political parties in the run-up to the elections.

Cobrapost Editor Aniruddha Bahal said the sting operation was conducted a year ago and it took some time to release it after the post-production work.

The reporters, acting as agents working on behalf of the Congress, the BJP or the Aam Aadmi Party, made an offer to pay 10-20 percent of the decided sum in cheque or bank transfer, and the rest through cash, which the celebrities accepted.

Sood too released a statement, calling the sting operation a "clear case of sabotage", which wrongly reproduced and projected what had been actually discussed. It is very regular for brands, political parties, individuals and corporates to use celebrity social media platforms for promotions. With reference to the contract, I had also clearly stated that I want everything to officially be put on paper as that is the regular protocol.

"Promoting brands, political parties, individuals or corporations isn't wrong as long as you believe in the product, the ideologies and the intention", the official statement further read. Cobrapost chief Aniruddh Bahal said that nearly all the celebrities agreed to do it for a fee which ranged between Rs 2 lakh to Rs 50 lakh for a post.

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"Some even quoted a fee of Rs 20 crore for an eight-month contract, and nearly none of them said no to black money when we told them a bulk of their fee would be paid in cash", the outlet claimed.

Veteran actor Raza Murad rejected the idea of promoting a political party on social media. In the sting operation dubbed as Operation Karaoke, Cobrapost offered prominent film and TV personalities huge sums of money in exchange of tweets of political allegiance.

Popular TV actress and Bhabhi Ji Ghar Par Hain star Saumya Tandon on Tuesday became a hero on social media after it emerged that she was one of the four actors, who had refused to sell their soul for money to Cobrapost investigative team. Television actors Hiten Tejwani, Gauri Pradhan and Rakhi Sawant, and singers Mika Singh, Abhijeet Bhattacharya among others were named too.

Apart from these, a few names like Vidya Balan, Arshad Warsi, Saumya Tandon and Raza Murad have been applauded for their sense of integrity but nothing takes away from the fact that the reveal was no small deal. The report states, "While we saw all these celebs succumbing to the lure of money and agreeing to indulge in this unethical and unlawful practice, there were some notable exceptions, though. They are showing half conversations the accusations are fake as the Cobra Post".

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