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How an old image turned Delhi's Rajiv Chowk into an #OddEven battleground

The image which was used by many to criticise Delhi government was taken in October during Diwali rush at the metro station.

On Monday, Delhi government's odd-even experiment to limit private cars on the road faced its litmus test. Three days after coming into effect, the policy of allowing odd and even numbered cars on the roads only on alternate days was put through the test of the usually manic Delhi rush as citizens and students rushed to their work and colleges.

While the city responded enthusiastically to the drive even on a routine workday after the long weekend, the number of challans went up and almost 600 violators had been fined by the police by the afternoon. Public transport in the city, meanwhile, ran on full capacity with extra buses being pushed on the road and the Delhi metro making additional trips to manage the load.

Even as people on social media shared their experiences on the third day of the odd-even policy, there was a bit of excitement on social media after some people shared a photograph of the Rajiv Chowk Metro Station, teeming with chaotic crowds.

The image proved to be a missile in the hands of the critics who used it to target Delhi government for the shoddy public transport arrangements and pushing people into inconvenience.

As it later turned out, the photograph was an old one, published in the Hindustan Times in October last year, which the newspaper itself felt the need to address through a tweet.

This small nugget of truth, however, proved too little and too late to control Twitter as humour and barbs took over the narrative and soon enough, Aam Aadmi Party and Bharatiya Janata Party supporters were mocking each other.

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