08:13 BJP on #BlockNarendraModi: PM follows Rahul, Kejri too: The Bharatiya Janata Party has dismissed as ‘farcical and fake’ the row over Prime Minister Narendra Modi following some Twitter users accused of making objectionable comments over journalist Gauri Lankesh’s murder, and and said it shows selective approach to right to freedom of expression.
In a statement, BJP’s IT department head Amit Malviya termed the row a one-way street, saying opposition leaders like Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi or Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal are ‘never questioned’ for behaviour of their followers.
Modi following a person is not a ‘character certificate’ of a person and is not in anyway a guarantee of how a person would conduct himself.
‘He is a rare leader who truly believes in freedom of speech and has never blocked or un-followed anyone on Twitter. We have multiple examples of leaders curbing free speech on social media, including the previous PMO handle,’ he said.
The PM still follows Parthesh Patel, ‘a former BJP volunteer who joined the Congress and abused the PM in the worst possible language,’ he said.
The controversy is ‘mischievous and contorted’, he said, adding that Modi is the only leader who freely engages with people on social media platforms.
‘Rahul is never questioned for the abuse by Tehseen Poonawala, who also happens to be his relative.
‘Kejriwal is never questioned for the abuse and rape threats his supporters shower on others. Thus, this debate is not only farcical and fake, but also an exhibit of selective right to freedom of expression,’ he said in a statement.
Modi, Malviya said, also follows Rahul Gandhi, who is an ‘accused in loot and fraud’ and also follows Kejriwal, who ‘abused’ him on Twitter and ‘told a woman ‘settle kar lo‘ when she complained of a party member molesting her’.
Malviya said Modi follows ‘normal people’ and frequently interacts with them on various issues.
Some twitter users had yesterday posted abusive comments targeting the slain journalist.
The prime minister was criticised for allegedly following some of them on Twitter from his personal handle. — PTI
IMAGE: Statement by BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya. Photograph: @BJP4India/Twitter
01:34 Modi govt should be renamed as ‘derailment sarkar’: Congress :
The Congress on Thursday attacked the government over back-to-back train derailments, and said the Modi dispensation should be renamed as “derailment sarkar”.
Congress communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala said railway safety was in shambles in the country as daily train accidents pose a grave threat to passenger safety.
“Third derailment in 24 hours. Who is accountable? “How many derailments will it take for the Railway Ministry to sit up and take notice?” asked the Congress on its official Twitter handle.
Three trains jumped off the tracks in Uttar Pradesh, New Delhi and Maharashtra within a span of nine hours on Thursday, the latest in a string of such incidents which saw the exit of Suresh Prabhu as railway minister in the Cabinet reshuffle last Sunday.
Luckily, barring injury to a passenger in the accident in the national capital, no casualties were reported in other incidents.
Surjewala said, “3rd train derailment today. Safety in shambles. Modi Sarkar should be renamed as ‘Derailment Sarkar’!”
After the second derailment, he said daily train accidents exposed the grave threat to passenger safety as the railway ministry remained in “deep slumber”.
“Another train accident caused by derailment in UP Post reshuffling of cards, when will we have passenger safety measures in place?” he asked on Twitter.
Surjewala also accused the railways of “criminal negligence”.