Congress demands probe to check if celebrities were forced to tweet in Centre’s support
Maharashtra Congress has demanded a probe by the police into the tweets posted by celebrities in response to the global criticism of the government’s handling of the farmers’ protest. The party sought the investigation to find out if the celebrities were pressure by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to take to social media in support of the Central government. State Congress’s general secretary and spokesperson Sachin Sawant is set to meet state home minister Anil Deshmukh with the demand of the probe.
Sawant said he would hold a virtual meeting with Deshmukh on Monday demanding a thorough probe. “There is a similar pattern behind these tweets by the celebrities including Akshay Kumar, Sunil Sheety, sportspersons Sachin Tendulkar, Saina Nehwal. The contents of the tweets by Nehwal and Kumar are same while Shetty had tagged a BJP leader. This shows that there was a communication between the celebrities and the ruling party leaders. It needs to be investigated if there was any pressure from the BJP on these national heroes for such advocacy on the social media. If so, these celebrities need to be given more protection,” he said.
Celebrities including Tendulkar, playback singer Lata Mangeshkar and hosts of Bollywood actors took to Twitter on February 3 after international personalities such as Rihanna and climate change activist Greta Thunberg expressed support for the farmers’ protest in Delhi. The tweets from the celebrities came with hashtags #IndiaAgainstPropaganda and #IndiaTogether, whih are framed by the ministry of external affairs.
Maharashtra BJP’s media head Vishwas Pathak said, “These are dignitaries and have their independent views over international affairs. Raising doubts over their expressions and ability to think independently is an insult to them. They have spoken about Indian sovereignty. Does the Congress expect them to say that international celebrities can poke their nose in the internal matters of India?”