Narendra Modi government has been under attack over the PM following Twitter handles of people who justified the murder of senior journalist Gauri Lankesh. BJP has been attacked by the Opposition and activists to which the party has come out with strong defence. Amit Malviya, BJP’s national head of information and technology said that PM following someone on the social media does not provide a character certificate nor is he answerable for the conduct of any individual he follows. “The PM following someone is not a character certificate of a person and is not in any way a guarantee of how a person would conduct himself,” he said. Malviya further called the controversy ‘mischievous and contorted’.
The statement from the saffron party came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi drew flak for following online trolls on Twitter, who expressed happiness over the killing of senior journalist Gauri Lankesh. The Opposition criticized PM Narendra Modi’s stance who continued to follow the Twitter handles of many individuals from his personal account. Malviya further taking a dig at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal said, “However, PM also follows Rahul Gandhi, who is an accused in loot and fraud. PM also follows Arvind Kejriwal who abused him on Twitter and told a woman ‘Settle Kar lo’ when she complained of a party member molesting her. PM still follows Parthesh Patel, a former BJP volunteer who joined Congress and abused PM in the worst possible language. Thus, this debate is not only farcical and fake, but also an exhibit of selective right to freedom of expression.”
Malviya called Modi the only leader who engages with people on social media platforms and also believes in the freedom of speech. But Malviya who claimed that PM Modi does not unfollow anybody on the social media was punctured soon after the release of the BJP statement. It was pointed out that Modi had unfollowed @DrJwalaG handle after she accused Tajinder Bagga — now a BJP spokesperson — of unethical behaviour. Since yesterday, a segment of twitterati were unhappy over the celebration tweets on Gauri Lankesh’s death and the fact that Prime Minister did not unfollow them post those tweets. As a result, they launched a social media campaign with hashtag ‘BlockNarendraModi’ that has trended on Twitter since yesterday.