The controversy over Ankhi Das took on a new dimension on Thursday after CPI(M) in West Bengal showed how Das is close to West Bengal’s ruling party the Trinamool Congress (TMC) apart from the ruling party at the Centre, the BJP.
In their tweet CPI(M) West Bengal has said, “@Facebook India PPD #AnkhiDas, sister of erstwhile @abvpjnu activist & wife of founder of @ABVPVoiceunit at Presidency College in Kolkata is the daughter-in-law of @AITCofficial 2 time MLA &Ex minister Rabiranjan Chatterjee.” The tweet is accompanied by a picture of Mamata with Das.
Ankhi Das has been accused of supporting BJP and alleged hate comments that have not been filtered. The discussion came up after a Wall Street Journal article of a senior Facebook official in India being opposed to chalking out hate speech rules against BJP leaders and other right wing activist groups.
The article hinted at Das, Facebook’s top public policy executive in India who was allegedly hesitant of applying hate speech rules recently on a BJP leader for fear of spoiling the company’s relationship with the ruling party in India.
The allegations however have been denied by the company. Meanwhile, Das has been threatened on social media with hate comments and has filed a complaint with the Delhi Cyber Crime department with screenshots of those who have threatened her.
With the CPIM also raising more questions over Das’s allegiance with the ruling party in West Bengal, Das will have more explaining to do as her family’s relationship with the TMC has been established. This deepens the debate on Facebook’s alleged political nexus in India.
Another tweet by CPI(M) West Bengal in the same thread reads, “#AnkhiDas was in charge if handling media affairs of @Mamataofficial led @AITCofficial during the 2011 assembly elections&was an integral part of the election war room in Bardhman from where her father-in-law contested&defeated @CPIM_WESTBENGAL Nirupam Sen.”
The third tweet says, “#AnkhiDas played a significant role during 2016 assembly elections in WB in advising @AITCofficial in their social media endeavour. It is now crystal clear she has had relation now only with @BJP4India but also with @Mamataofficial TMC.”
TMC is yet to react to the revelations made by CPIM. With 2021 Assembly elections in West Bengal less than a year away, the CPIM is trying it’s best to bring out issues to embarrass the TMC government. How seriously will the TMC take these allegations is the question.