Congress on Tuesday launched a scathing attack on the BJP-led NDA government over the remarks of former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and said that the government threatened to shut down Twitter and raid the homes of their employees during farmers' protest.
In a tweet, Congress General Secretary Communications in-charge Jairam Ramesh said, "During the farmers agitation, the cowardly BJP government threatened to shut down Twitter and raid the homes of their employees."
Congress general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala said, "Modi government forced Twitter to shut down accounts of farmers and farmer's movement, shut down accounts of journalists critical of government or Twitter and its employees would be raided. This is what Twitter Co Founder and Ex CEO Jack Dorsey admits in a TV interview. Will Modi Government answer?"
Addressing a Press conference here at the party headquatters, Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said, "The topic of this Press conference is to reveal how murder of democracy is being done in the mother of democracy...When farmers were agitating at the Delhi border for more than a year, braving winter, summer and rain, they were being called 'mawali, Khalistani, Pakistani and terrorists' and platforms like Twitter were being told that if they show farmers, they will be shut down in India and raided..."
She claimed that Twitter founder and former CEO Dorsey has revealed that the Modi government threatened him - if the farmer's movement is shown, then Twitter's office and employees' homes will be raided and Twitter will be banned in India.
"When the farmers of the country were fighting for their rights, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was suppressing their voice," she alleged.
"Whoever tried to raise voice were raided. Twitter office was raided on May 24, 2021. In August 2021, Rahul Gandhi's Twitter handle was blocked and his follower growth almost stopped for the next 6 months. In February 2022, when Wall Street Journal is about to run the news that Rahul Gandhi's Twitter handle has been blocked, immediately after that this shadow ban was removed and his followers start increasing. So why not say that Twitter did the work of blocking the account at the behest of the Modi government, so that the strongest voice of the opposition could be suppressed," Shrinate, who is the also the chairman of the social media and digital platforms, said.
"Former CEO of Twitter has said that if you show farmers protest, then your office will be raided," she said hitting back at the government.
Dubbing the muzzling of voices as fearsome, she said, "These facts are fearsome. Prime Minister Modi fears because his image has been built by spending crores of money."
"Whenever you show them the truth, they will dub it as international conspiracy. And they say that Twitter didn't follow the rule, but they never share the sections. This script has gone old now and the dictator's true face has been exposed," she said.
"But this dictator is fearful. He brings NIA, orders baton charge on farmers. And then also the truth comes to the fore," she claimed.
She questioned that what is the need of Dorsey to lie? He won't get anything by bringing truth to the fore, she said.
She added that what former party chief Rahul Gandhi has been saying to weaken the democracy, is coming true.
She also slammed the government over the alleged data breach of the Covid vaccine beneficiaries.
"They said it is old data (data leaked on Telegram). But which data was that. They never said when that data was leaked," Shrinate said.
"You cannot keep the data of Indians safe," she said attacking the government.
She demanded the government to come out with the truth and stop suppressing the voices, intimidation of media and social media.
She also demanded the government to telltale people that how data was breached, how it happened, how much data was leaked, who was using the data.
Her remarks came in the backdrop of statement of Dorsey, who stepped down from Twitter's board last year.
During an interview, when asked if he had faced any pressure from foreign governments, Dorsey replied, "India for example, India is one of the countries which had many requests around farmers' protests, around particular journalists which were critical of the government, and it manifested in ways such as 'we will shut Twitter down in India' ... we would raid the homes of your employees', which they did; 'we will shut down your offices if you don't follow suit'. And this is India, a democratic country."
Farmers from several states staged protest at the borders of Delhi for over a year from November 2020.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to the farmers to call off their year-long protest. However, the three farm laws were finally withdrawn by the government. (IANS/NS)