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The Times Of India, February 11, 2019.
The Times Online has removed a story which had been published on the eve of the funeral of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The story reported that his body had been brought to the house of the late Congress leader Shri A P Vadra.
The report had claimed that the body of Mr. Vadra, who died in 2008, had been taken away in the night by the BJP workers.
But later, on January 29, the Times Online retracted the story, claiming that Mr. Nandini Yadav had died at the home of a friend.
The piece also reported that Mr Nandin had not been a part of the party in his youth.
In a statement, the paper said it had sought information from the Chief Minister and Chief Ministerial Committee, as well as the Delhi Police about the death of Mr Nanandini.
In an interview to the Times of Delhi, Mr Nanda Singh, the party leader, said that he had seen the report and had no knowledge of the death.
He said he would lodge a police complaint against the newspaper if they were to publish the report.
The article was also widely shared on social media.
The day after the report was published, the news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) posted a photograph of Mr Gandhi and his son, son-in-law and other members of his family at the residence of the deceased.
The photograph was accompanied by the headline, ‘Modi’s death: The death of a nation’.
The article had also quoted a senior Congress leader, former Delhi CM and leader of the opposition, Arvind Kejriwal, who had said that the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, who was the chief minister of Gujarat, had died of natural causes on February 10.
On January 28, a few hours after the article was published in The Times, a photograph was published of Mr Vadra’s body, with the headline “Modi was killed in bedwares”.
The photograph of the coffin was captioned, “It is with great sadness that I share the sad news of the demise of the PM’s body”.
“There is no truth to the news in the article that was published by The Times,” a senior BJP leader told NDTV.
Mr Nandan Nandani Yadav, who is not an MLA, told NDtv, “I have never heard of such an article being published.
This story has been published by a private media company.
This is an anti-Modi story.
The BJP does not need an article like this.”
The BJP did not respond to an email seeking comment.
The party also said it has not heard of the story being circulated.
Mr Vadapal Yadav’s son, Anup, was not present at the house.
He had left for work the day before and did not return.
Mr Yadav has been a close aide of the Prime Minister since 2013.
Anup Yadav said he had no idea what had happened to his father’s body.
“The only thing that I know is that the media was making an issue of his death and the fact that he died at home in bed,” he said.
The statement issued by the party on January 28 read, “We condemn the irresponsible and baseless story in The News of India and will take appropriate action against the media that disseminated this fake news.
We have also received complaints from the media on the matter.”
Mr Yadawad has already been suspended from the party for a year, after he criticised Mr Modi during a meeting in Delhi.
The former leader has also been booked under Section 66 of the Information Technology Act, which prohibits spreading “false or misleading” news.
Mr Modi’s family, however, has not been accused of any crime.
In February, his father, Rajiv Gandhi, who led the Congress from 1989 to 1992, died at 81.
Mr Gandhi’s wife, Sonia, was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for her role in the anti-war movement.