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 murde. The BJP pined that the PM follows those who regularly interact with him and many of them are commoners.
The statement released by BJP’s IT department head Amit Malviya said that the PM has even followed opposition leaders like Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal and the following by PM does not merely endorse the credibility of the person or the handle which was followed by the PM. It said that it 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. 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.
He opined 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.
Malviya said Modi follows ‘normal people’ and frequently interacts with them on various issues. The hashtag which is believed to have been framed by Congress backfired when it was pointed out by a twitteratti that prior to the hashtag, the PM had 33,719,412 followers and after the hashtag trend, it went up to 33,764,365 clearly showing it was not appreciated by public.