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Maharashtra to Probe Tweets by Indian Celebs After Rihanna Remark

Maharashtra Congress has sought clarification to find out whether celebrities were pressurised by BJP  to tweet.

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Maharashtra Pradesh Committee Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant held a virtual meeting with Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Monday, 8 February, asking for a thorough probe into the tweets posted by Indian celebrities in response to the global criticism of the farmers’ protest.

Sawant told ANI that it’s totally fine if someone expresses a personal opinion. But in this case, if you see the timing, content and context of the tweets, it seemed they were all given a script.

The party has sought clarification to find out whether celebrities were pressured by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to take to social media in support of the central government.

Several celebrities including Lata Mangeshkar and Sachin Tendulkar tweeted with #IndiaAgainstPropaganda and #IndiaTogether, after pop singer Rihanna and environmental activist Greta Thunberg posted tweets backing the farmer protests.

Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has assured Congress' Sachin Sawant that the state Intelligence Department will conduct an inquiry and probe whether Sachin, Lata Mangeshkar and other famous celebrities were pressured to tweet in support of the Centre

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“If BJP is intimidating our national heroes, they should be provided security. We spoke to home minister Anil Deshmukh and he said it is a serious matter. He has given orders to the intelligence department to probe into this”.
Sachin Sawant, Maharashtra Congress Spokesperson

Sawant had earlier said: “There is a similar pattern behind these tweets by the celebrities including Akshay Kumar, Sunil Shetty, sportspersons Sachin Tendulkar, Saina Nehwal. The contents of the tweets by Nehwal and Kumar are same while Shetty had tagged a BJP leader. This shows that there was a communication between the celebrities and the ruling party leaders. It needs to be investigated if there was any pressure from the BJP on these national heroes for such advocacy on the social media. If so, these celebrities need to be given more protection.”

BJP Condemns Inquiry

BJP leader and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis criticised the decision of Maharashtra Pradesh Committee Congress to set up an inquiry into this matter.

“Has this MVA [Maha Vikas Aghadi] government lost all its senses, MVA should feel ashamed while using the word ‘probe’ for Bharat Ratnas,” he said in a tweet.

BJP leader Ashish Shelar while condemning the inquiry said that the current government doesn’t properly think before making statements. “Sachin Tendulkar and Lata Mangeshkar are not just celebrities, they’re Bharat Ratna recipients,” he told ANI.

He tweeted that he condemns any inquiry into their chats.

(With inputs from ANI)

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