It has been over 72 hours since an alleged hacking attempt took it down but the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) website is yet to become operational.
An attempt to reach the official website of the country’s richest political party returned the “maintenance” message on Friday.
“We’ll be back soon! Sorry for the inconvenience but we’re performing some maintenance at the moment. We’ll be back online shortly!” read the message displayed on the homepage of the website along with the lotus logo of the party.
The message has been up on the website since the alleged hacking attempt at 11.30 am on Tuesday. The BJP has not yet commented on the website malfunction.
As soon as the website went down, social media was abuzz with screenshots of a meme featuring Prime Minister Narendra Modi that was allegedly posted by the hackers on the website. Below the meme was a music video of the film “Bohemian Rhapsody”.
The meme poked fun at a clip in which German Chancellor Angela Merkel walks past Modi as he extends his hand.
Congress’ social media handler, Divya Spandana was among the first to tweet about the malfunction of the website.
The hacking of the BJP website comes days after Pakistani-linked hackers reportedly attacked nearly 90 Indian government websites following the 14 February Pulwama terror attack. India had then initiated counter-offensive measures in cyberspace.
In the same week, Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal accused New Delhi of targeting Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, which had stopped working in several countries including the US.
The BJP is the richest political party in India, according to the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).
The BJP claimed an income of Rs 10.03 billion, and an expenditure of Rs 7.1 billion during 2016-17.
“This forms 66.34 per cent of the total income of national parties added together during 2016-17,” the ADR, a Delhi-based think-tank, said in a report released in 2018.