The Congress Friday said its stand on the ‘Covid toolkit’ issue stands validated after Twitter used the ‘manipulated media’ tag for BJP leaders Sambit Patra’s tweets on the alleged Opposition party document on how to target the Centre over its COVID-19 handling. The Congress reaction came even as the government asked Twitter to remove the ‘manipulated media’ label, saying the matter is pending before the law-enforcement agency.
Congress leader K C Venugopal said, “The Congress stand has been validated by Twitter’s action itself. What the Congress has been telling for the last so many days and years about the BJP’s false propaganda and spreading lies is actually validated by this single incident.”
“We will take note of it and will take further action,” he said, when asked about the Congress’ follow-up action. Party spokesperson Pawan Khera said the world should see how India’s ruling party is “trying to create manipulative media during a pandemic without fulfilling its own duty”.
“The people should see this,” he said. “The Congress has pledged that it will not ignore such things, as they (the BJP) have been doing so in the past too. We will reply emphatically.” He also said that the party would continue to pursue action on a police complaint against BJP chief JP Nadda, Union minister Smriti Irani and Patra, among others, for “peddling a false narrative” through social media.
“The law will take its own course. We will continue with the legal remedies,” Khera said, when asked about the future of Congress’ police complaint. The Congress leader said it will also pursue with Twitter for further stricter action against the BJP leaders. The Congress had on Thursday written to Twitter asking it to permanently suspend the accounts Nadda, Irani, Patra and other BJP leaders for allegedly “spreading misinformation and unrest in the society”.
Their communication to the social media site had come two days after they filed a police complaint against the BJP leaders after they tweeted a so-called ‘toolkit’, attributing it to the Congress, on how to target the Modi government over its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Congress has said the document was “forged”.
While the Congress was seeking permanent suspension of the Twitter handles of the four BJP leaders, the micr0-blogging site labelled as “manipulated media” Patra’s tweet about the alleged toolkit. The government, while asking Twitter to remove the tag, made it clear that the social media platform cannot pass judgment when the issue is under investigation.
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