Congress official spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala
Congress official spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala
File Photo

New Delhi

On behalf of the Congress, party general secretary and chairman of its communication department Randeep Singh Surjewala on Tuesday shot off a letter to the Twitter bosses to tag various accounts of 11 Union Ministers as “manipulated media” for “spreading false and malicious propaganda”, as already done in case of BJP spokesman Sambit Patra (@sambitswaraj), who is also one of the main accused in FIR No 215/2021 registered by the Chhattisgarh Police at Raipur on May 19.

He has sought an urgent action, expecting they “will be dealt with the same yardstick as applied in other cases where the Twitter platform is misused to broadcast forged and fabricated material and all the aforesaid tweets be declared “Manipulative Media” by the Twitter, Inc.

The letter addressed to Vijaya Gadde, Lead for Legal, Policy and Trust and Safety, Twitter, Inc and Jim Baker, deputy general counsel and vice president, Legal, Twitter, Inc and team refers to an earlier communication sent out by Rajeev Gowda, ex-Member of Parliament (chairman, research cell, Indian National Congress) and Rohan Gupta (chairman, social media dept of INC) on “the forged Toolkit document created by certain BJP leaders to gain undue and wrongful political advantage by spreading potentially dangerous, false and fabricated material through their Twitter handles, against the INC and its leaders.”

Surjewala response follows their reply on May 25 to his email of the same day asking him to provide URLs, etc of the said tweets of the Union Ministers. He has provided the Twitter handles of the ministers, along with the specific URLs of the tweets made on 18.05.2021, “with a clear mal-intent to exploit the social media space (Twitter) to spread lies and malicious propaganda throughout the territory of India.”

Pointing out the claims by these ministers under the malicious hashtag #CongressToolkitExposed are identical to those marked as “manipulative media” by Twitter on various accounts, including that of Sambit Patra, he writes: “....People tend to believe ‘true’ and take on face value, any information that is put up directly by a Union Minister of the Government of India through his/her official/verified Twitter account. Hence, it becomes all the more imperative to tag ‘manipulative media’ on all such tweets made by them on the above-referred forged toolkit document created by the BJP.”

The Union Ministers against whom the complaint is filed are: Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad), Smriti Zubin Irani (@smritiirani), Prahlad Joshi (2JoshiPrahlad), Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank (@DrRPNishank), Gajendra Singh Shekhawat (@gssjodhpur), Shandilya Giriraj Singh (@girirajsinghbjp), Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal), Dharmendra Pradhan (@dpradhanbjp), Thawarchand Gehlot (@TCGEHLOT), Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan), and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi (@naqvimukhtar).

Surjewala has provided their Twitter handles and the related URLs that include 5 URLs each by Ravi Shankar Prasad and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, 4 by Smriti Irani, 2 each by Nishank and Prahlad Joshi, and 1 each by others.

Cong leaders get Delhi Police notices: The Delhi Police has served notices to 2 Congress leaders in the 'Covid toolkit' case, asking them to join the probe into a complaint in the matter, officials said. A senior cop confirmed the notices were served to Congress social media head Rohan Gupta and party spokesperson MV Rajeev Gowda.

Cops seek info from Twitter: Delhi Police on Tuesday said its special cell is seeking information from Twitter on the basis of which it declared a tweet of BJP spokesman Sambit Patra as “manipulative”, to ascertain the truth about an alleged Congress “toolkit” circulated by him.

Its spokesman said a team of the special cell went to the Twitter office on Monday to ascertain who was the right person to serve a notice, as replies by Twitter India MD Manish Maheshwari were ambiguous.

He said the cell is probing a complaint by Patra on labelling his tweet as “manipulated media” for sharing an alleged toolkit prepared by Congress to target the government as also a complaint by Congress against BJP leaders terming the toolkit.

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