'Don't Fear': Rahul Gandhi As Twitter Blocks Accounts of Congress, Its Leaders
On Wednesday, the party alleged that Twitter accounts of five Congress leaders had been blocked as well.
After the official Twitter handle of the Congress and several of its leaders was locked, the party on Thursday, 12 August, hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in posts on Facebook and Instagram.
Rahul Gandhi, whose account was locked by Twitter earlier in the week, posted a photo on Instagram which read, "1.3 billion people will not be silenced," and captioned it "Daro Mat (Don't fear)"
The Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi went on to accuse the social media site of “colluding” with the Narendra Modi-led government and aiding in “stifling of democracy”.
She tweeted, “Is Twitter following its own policy for the suspension of Congress leaders’ accounts or the Modi government’s? Why hadn’t it locked the account of SC commission that had tweeted similar photos before any of our leaders did?”
Flagging the issue of the alleged rape and murder of a Dalit minor girl in the National Capital, in another tweet, the leader used a hashtag saying #TwitterBJPseDarGaya.
Twitter Suspends Congress' Official Account
The party had earlier posted screenshots of a message received on their account, which showed that the social media platform had taken the said action because the account had "violated Twitter rules regarding publishing or posting other people's private information without their express authorisation and permission".
This came hours after the party alleged on Wednesday that the accounts of several Congress leaders, including Randeep Singh Surjewala, Ajay Maken, Manickam Tagore, Jitendra Singh Alwar, and Sushmita Dev had been locked.
"Modiji, just how afraid are you? Reminder: The Congress party fought for our nation's independence, equipped only with truth, non-violence & the will of the people. We won then, we'll win again," the Congress had written on Instagram earlier on Thursday.
Congress member Praveen Chakravarty was also locked out of his Twitter account after he expressed his support for Gandhi.
Others who faced similar restrictions on Twitter include Jitendra Singh Alwar, Ponnam Prabhakar, Harish Singh Rawat, Ganesh Godiyal, Pranav Jha, Pawan Khera, Rohan Gupta, Anil Kumar Chaudhary, Ripun Bora, Madan Mohan Jha and Rajani Patil among others, The India Express reported.
Twitter Handles of Senior Leaders Blocked, Claims Party
Tagging Prime Minister Narendra Modi and IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, a Congress representative asserted the party's protest against the locking of the accounts.
"So! After Shri @RahulGandhi, the Lord @narendramodi Ji and Vassal @Jack & @twitter have locked @rssurjewala, @ajaymaken & @sushmitadevinc. @INCIndia registers its protest and promises to continue the fight for each and all being wronged! We shall hold on @AshwiniVaishnaw Ji, (sic)" Pranav Jha, AICC secretary in-charge of party's communication department, said in a tweet.
"The list goes on. @Twitter locks @JitendraSAlwar and @manickamtagore and many more. Doesn't Modi Ji understand that we @INCindia'ns have a legacy of fighting even from behind the locks of kaala paani. He thinks the virtual locks of twitter will deter us from fighting for India?? (sic)" he added in another tweet.
The Congress party blamed its nemesis, the BJP, for the Twitter action.
Congress Leaders Change Names, React
Several leader from the party, including Priyanka Gandhi and the President of the National Youth Congress Srinivas took to twitter and changed their photos and names to 'Rahul Gandhi' in protest.
"How many tweets will you block. You will see Rahul Gandhi in every tweet!!" Srinivas wrote on Twitter.
Several leaders including Alka Lamba, Ali Mehdi, too changed their Twitter names.
President of the Odisha Congress Committee Niranjan Patnaik wrote, "These aren’t just the words of @RahulGandhi, but the sentiments of 1.3 billion Indians. @TwitterIndia, try to be a platform where people can raise their voice against injustice, not in servility to PM @narendramodi!"
'Deleted Rahul Gandhi's Tweet, Locked His Account': Twitter Tells Delhi HC
Twitter on Wednesday, 11 August, told the Delhi High Court that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's account was locked in response to one of his tweets, which had contravened the social media platform's policy.
Representing Twitter, Senior Advocate Sajan Poovayya also informed the court that it had deleted Gandhi's tweet, which shared a photograph of the parents of the nine-year-old Dalit girl who was allegedly raped, killed, and forcibly cremated in the national capital on 1 August, Bar & Bench had reported.
The Congress party on Saturday, 7 August, had announced that Gandhi's account was temporarily locked by the micro-blogging platform.
The party had levelled allegations against the BJP, suggesting its involvement in the Twitter action.
(With inputs from Bar & Bench)
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