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Wednesday, Oct 16, 2019

Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Lalu’s Twitter account not under scanner, says EC

Before going to the jail, Prasad had said that his Twitter account, which has over 4.60 million followers, would be handled by the party’s social media cell under supervision of his family members.

lok-sabha-elections Updated: Mar 16, 2019 10:38 IST
Subhash Pathak
Subhash Pathak
Hindustan Times, Patna
Prasad is currently undergoing treatment at Ranchi’s Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS)
Prasad is currently undergoing treatment at Ranchi’s Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS)(PTI)
         

Election authorities in Bihar and Jharkhand have no plans to put Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav’s activities on social media under scrutiny.

Irked over Prasad’s ‘outrageous’ remarks on Twitter against the crowd at the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA) Sankalp rally at Gandhi maidan on March 3, some BJP and JD (U) leaders had urged the officials of the Election Commission of India (ECI) to curb ‘misuse’ of the microblogging site by an imprisoned leader. The request had come up in one of the meetings between the ECI and the NDA allies.

Prasad is currently undergoing treatment at Ranchi’s Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS). He has been in judicial custody since December 23, 2017, after a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special court in Ranchi sentenced him to three-yearand-a-half year’s imprisonment in connection with a fodder scam case.

With the chief election office of Bihar setting up an eight-member team to keep watch on social media trends and crackdown on those breaching the model code of conduct in place, it was suspected that the RJD chief’s Twitter account was under EC’S scanner.

Chief electoral officers (CEOS) of Bihar and Jharkhand, HR Srinivasan and L Khiangte clarified that they were not monitoring Lalu Prasad’s social media account and have no such plans. “The special teams have been pursuing only trending stuff on social media, besides complaints of violation of the model code of conduct,” said the CEOS.

Before going to the jail, Prasad had said that his Twitter account, which has over 4.60 million followers, would be handled by the party’s social media cell under supervision of his family members.

Through a series of tweets, Prasad had targeted the Sankalp rally, particularly focusing on the turnout. Targeting the PM and chief minister Nitish Kumar, Prasad had said that the turnout at the rally was similar to a crowd he casually attracts when he stops his car at a paan shop. He also criticised the use of teleprompters near PM Modi’s lectern during the rally, tweeting about it.

His comments did not go down well with the ruling BJP-JD (U) alliance, who criticised Prasad’ remark and for mocking the PM. Deputy chief minister Sushil Modi retorted, saying that the type of crowd Lalu Prasad attracted was known to all.

The deputy CM also took to the occasion to criticise Prasad’s rule and pointed out that his rule was known for issues such as the fodder scam, widespread corruption and patronage to criminals and that clowns too were known to attract crowds.

First Published: Mar 16, 2019 10:38 IST

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