The Congress on Wednesday questioned the Election Commission’s decision to order the removal of posts on electoral bonds from social media platform X, alleging that the poll panel did so because discussing the now-scrapped scheme makes the government “extremely uncomfortable”, The Hindu reported.

On Tuesday, X said that it had taken down four posts by political parties and leaders – including one by a senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader – for the remainder of the Lok Sabha elections period in compliance with the Election Commission’s orders.

On Wednesday, Supriya Shrinate, the head of the Congress’ social media department, said that the Election Commission should regulate hate speech, religious references, and crass and vulgar statements.

“So, that is why it is very surprising that the EC chose to get a tweet deleted which raised the issue of electoral bonds,” Shrinate told reporters. “Why would they do that? One does not understand but obviously electoral bonds is an issue which makes the government extremely uncomfortable.”

The Congress leader said that in the past, the social media accounts of farmer leaders, associations and independent journalists were all “restricted” during the farmers’ movement, even when the Information Technology rules were sub judice. “I do want to raise that there is a pattern as far as social media platforms are concerned,” the newspaper quoted Shrinate as saying.

Shrinate said that the government is “very uncomfortable” with social media platforms, digital platforms and YouTube channels because it has been able to “convert large sections of mainstream media into [its] cheerleaders” that do not question about unemployment, price rise and “justice for the girl in Hathras or our athletes”.

She said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s explanation of electoral bonds has stopped “making sense”.

Shrinate claimed that the companies donating to the BJP were winning big contracts and persons facing raids by the Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax Department were donating to the ruling party to ensure that the action by central agencies against them stopped.

“As my leader [Rahul Gandhi] earlier today said, the prime minister is a champion of corruption as he was breeding graft through the electoral bonds scheme,” she alleged.

In February, the Supreme Court verdict struck down the electoral bond scheme as unconstitutional saying it could foster quid pro quo relationships between donors and political parties. The court also directed the State Bank of India to reveal data on donations made to political parties through the scheme.

Analysis of the data shared by the State Bank of India revealed that the BJP received the lion’s share of electoral bond donations. Some of the buyers of the electoral bonds were companies that had faced raids by central agencies.

X was asked by the poll panel to take down posts by the Aam Aadmi Party, the YSR Congress Party, Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Samrat Choudhary for alleged violation of the Model Code of Conduct. The Model Code of Conduct is a set of guidelines issued by the election commission that political parties have to follow while campaigning.

The microblogging platform, formerly known as Twitter, published the takedown orders and said it had notified the users about its actions.

Read more analysis on this topic by Project Electoral Bond, a collaborative project involving Scroll, The News Minute, Newslaundry and freelance journalists.