West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday castigated the Narendra Modi government for its “efforts to control” social media giant Twitter, PTI reported.
Her comments came at a time when tension has been brewing between Twitter and the Centre on the new information technology rules and the alleged “Congress toolkit” case. The Uttar Pradesh Police have also included Twitter in an first information report for not removing posts about the assault of an elderly Muslim man in Ghaziabad district on June 5. The company has been booked for “intent to a riot, promoting enmity and criminal conspiracy”.
Union Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has also accused Twitter of taking “the path of deliberate defiance” and choosing to flag manipulated content only when it suited the platform.
Banerjee condemned the action against Twitter. “They [Centre] can’t control Twitter, so they are trying to bulldoze it,” she alleged. “They are trying to do so with everyone they are unable to manage. They can’t control me, and that is why they are trying to bulldoze my government, too.”
Violence in Bengal
The Trinamool Congress chief also said that there was no political violence in West Bengal. She said the claims made by the Bharatiya Janata Party were completely baseless.
“There may have been one or two sporadic incidents, but those can’t be labelled as incidents of political violence,” Banerjee added.
On Tuesday, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar accused Banerjee of being silent about the violence after Assembly elections in the state.
In a letter to Banerjee, which was shared on Twitter, the governor claimed that the “post-poll retributive bloodshed, violation of human rights, outrageous assault on dignity of women, wanton destruction of property, perpetuation of untold miseries on political opponents” in the state was the worst since Independence.
Apart from the state government, Left parties have also criticised Dhankar for acting like a BJP mouthpiece, NDTV reported.
“He is not a man of the BJP but his function is tantamount to be a man of BJP,” said Biman Bose, Left Front chairperson. “This cannot be the role of a governor. He is identifying himself as a man of BJP. This is not right. This cannot be the role of a governor, particularly in West Bengal.”
West Bengal had witnessed a spell of violent incidents following the election results on May 2. The BJP and the Trinamool Congress blamed each other for the deaths of multiple party workers. Various news reports put the toll between 11 and 14, but the police did not confirm the numbers.
Petitions have been filed in courts for an independent inquiry into the violence. The petitioners have alleged that 18 political activists died, sexual violence was committed against women, and acts of loot, arson and destruction took place owing to the indifference of the state government. They sought the deployment of central forces to restore law and order in the state and setting up of a fast-track court.
On Monday, the state government told the Supreme Court that the petitions were misleading and politically motivated. It also refuted accusations of inaction and complicity in the violence.