After the Congress leaders who had complained against BJP’s Sambit Patra for an alleged fake tweet were issued notice by the Delhi Police, the Congress has up its ante against the Union government on the issue. Notably, the Delhi Police that comes under the Ministry of Home Affairs has launched a probe into the toolkit controversy.
The Congress has now sent a letter to Twitter demanding that the tweets made by 11 Union ministers who had shared Patra’s controversial tweet on the toolkit issue should be also flagged as ‘manipulated media’. The ministers who had shared Patra’s tweet include Piyush Goyal, Smriti Irani, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Giriraj Singh, Prahlad Joshi, Dharmendra Pradhan, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Thawarchand Gehlot, Harsh Vardhan, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.
What Congress said
Congress general secretary Randeep Surjewala wrote to Twitter’s lead for legal, policy and trust and safety, Vijaya Gadde, and its deputy general counsel and vice president (legal) Jim Baker, seeking stern action against 11 union ministers for allegedly spreading false and forged documents.
Surjewala has alleged that the “forged, fabricated material” and the claims made under the #CongressToolkitExposed by various ministers are identical to the material that has already been marked as ‘manipulative media’ by Twitter.
Since Twitter labelled the controversial post by Patra as manipulated media upon receiving a complaint by Congress, the issue has snowballed into a major slugfest between the two parties. In fact, Delhi Police which started a probe on the issue on Monday showed up at Twitter’s office in India and issued a notice asking the social media giant to explain why it labelled Patra’s tweet as “manipulated media”.
The BJP has accused the Congress of creating a toolkit with an aim to tarnish the image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and India by calling the new strain of COVID-19 as “Modi strain” or “India strain”. However, the Congress has refuted the allegation. It said that its research wing made a toolkit on the Central Vista Project in the national capital, which the saffron party is wrongly using for propaganda.
On May 19, BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra said that toolkit properties reveal that it was created by a person who works for Congress leader Rajeev Gowda, in charge of Congress party’s Research Wing. However, Gowda said that Patra was sharing metadata of a real toolkit and using it as evidence for a fake document.
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