Maharashtra govt to probe social media posts by celebrities supporting Centre on farmers' protests

'It has been revealed that there were similar posts by celebrities...at the same time. Hence it will be investigated why it has happened,' the state home minister said

FP Staff February 08, 2021 15:35:21 IST
Maharashtra govt to probe social media posts by celebrities supporting Centre on farmers' protests

File image of Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh. ANI

Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh on Monday said the state government will investigate tweets by celebrities about the farmers' protest.

NDTV quoted Deshmukh as saying, "It has been revealed that there were similar posts by celebrities...at the same time. Hence it will be investigated why it has happened."

The development comes a day after the Congress sought a probe by the police into the tweets to find out if the celebrities were pressurised by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to take to social media in support of the Centre.

An article by Hindustan Times quoted Congress Sachin Sawant as saying, "There is a similar pattern behind these tweets by the celebrities including Akshay Kumar, Suniel 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."

On 3 February, a host of Bollywood stars and cricketers took to Twitter to respond to criticism by international celebrities about the Union government's handling of the farmers' protest.

Several tweets had included hashtags such as #IndiaAgainstPropaganda and #IndiaTogether, framed by the ministry of external affairs.

Earlier, several prominent personalities such as pop star Rihanna and climate change activist Greta Thunberg had expressed support for the farmers’ protest.

Commenting on this, the MEA said in a statement, “It was unfortunate to see vested interest groups trying to enforce their agenda on these protests, and derail them. This was egregiously witnessed on January 26," the ministry said as it called out the “sensationalist social media hashtags and comments”.

“Some of these vested interest groups have tried to mobilise international support against India. Instigated by such fringe elements, Mahatma Gandhi statues have been desecrated in parts of the world. This is extremely disturbing for India and for civilised society everywhere," it said.

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