Mumbai: The Bharatiya Janta Party-led government in the state has for the past one month stepped up vigilance on social media platforms. They have prompted the police in various cases to send notices to journalists and activists posting criticism over the government’s policies. This prompted Sharad Pawar, president of Nationalist Congress Party, and now the Shiv Sena to launch criticism against the government’s stand.
After the notices were issued to journalists, Pawar who has been vying for merger with BJP government did a u-turn. He said the NCP will join hands with those opposing the government. Pawar has found an ally in Sena along with Congress in cornering the ruling BJP. Sena greeted the effort and congratulated Pawar for openly speaking against the oppression.
“When the then prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh was being targeted on the social media, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) had proposed a legislation to control the expressions on social media. At that time, this same BJP had opposed such a legislation, terming it infringing on freedom of expression. Now, the BJP-led government is proposing to bring that same legislation,” Sena party mouthpiece Samana has said in its editorial.
Ramesh Shinde, a police constable, who was posted as a bodyguard of former revenue minister and Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat, was suspended allegedly because of his derogatory remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi on WhatsApp. NCP president Sharad Pawar had recently assured the youth that those who received notices from the police would be helped by his party to oppose the government, but has not assured of any legal help.
“The BJP is increasingly against any criticism towards it on the social media. This same social media has been used to help them to win the elections in the past,” the editorial has observed.
“The BJP has been digging a grave for others, but has ended falling in it themselves. The youth should think before continuing to express themselves on the social media. They should be prepared to go to jail for expressing freely over the social media. This is a Talibani style of functioning. This makes Maharashtra a state of exploitation rather than a state with laws,” the editorial said.
“The government has become intolerant when it was ridiculed by youth because their promises turned out to be false after coming to power. The prime minister should openly declare people have no freedom to air their views against the government or BJP,” the Sena said.
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