Farmers take part in a three-hour "chakka jam" or road blockade, on the outskirts of New Delhi on February 6.(Reuters Photo)
Farmers take part in a three-hour "chakka jam" or road blockade, on the outskirts of New Delhi on February 6.(Reuters Photo)

After Congress complaint that celebs tweeted over farm laws under pressure from BJP, Maharashtra govt order probe

A delegation of the Congress party met Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh earlier in the day claiming that Indian celebrities reacted to Rihanna's tweet under pressure from the Bharatiya Janata Party.
By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi
UPDATED ON FEB 08, 2021 05:01 PM IST

The Maharashtra government said on Monday that it will order a probe into the tweets by celebrities against international pop icon Rihanna over the issue of ongoing agitation in opposition to Centre's farm laws.

The decision has been taken on a complaint by the Congress party, which is a part of the ruling Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance in the state.

A delegation of the Congress party met Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh earlier in the day claiming that Indian celebrities reacted to Rihanna's tweet under pressure from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

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Deshmukh assured Congress delegation that the intelligence department of the Maharashtra Police will investigate into tweets by Indian celebrities.

"If BJP is intimidating our national heroes, they should be provided security. We spoke to home minister Anil Deshmukh and he said it is a serious matter. He has given orders to the intelligence department to probe into this," said Sachin Sawant, spokesperson of the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC).

The Congress had also claimed that there was a certain pattern behind the tweets by sportspersons and cricketers.

"There was a series of tweets after MEA's response to Rihanna's tweet. If a person, be it a celebrity, opine on their own, it's fine but there's a scope of suspicion that BJP could be behind this. We have cited common words like 'amicable' in these tweets," Sawant added.

Many famous personalities and sports icons like Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, and film personalities like Lata Mangeshkar and Akshay Kumar had posted tweets countering Rihanna and climate activist Greta Thunberg.

The tweets from these celebrities came after a statement from the ministry of external affairs (MEA) which called the criticism of India's farm laws by foreign personalities "unfortunate".

"Parliament of India, after a full debate and discussion, passed reformist legislation relating to the agricultural sector. These reforms give expanded market access and provided greater flexibility to farmers," the ministry said in a statement.

"Before rushing to comment on such matters, we urge that facts be ascertained and proper understanding of issues at hand be undertaken," the MEA had further said in the statement.

The foreign ministry had used two hashtags - #IndiaTogether and #IndiaAgainstPropaganda - while posting the statement on Twitter. Soon, it turned into a social media movement with many central ministers and celebrities using the hashtags to popularise the underlying message that there is an international conspiracy going on to weaken India.

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