Home Minister Rajnath Singh has condemned online abuse of his Cabinet colleague Sushma Swaraj, in the first such statement from a Union minister. According to News18, Singh called up Swaraj and has said that what is happening 'is not right.'
This comes over a week after external affairs minister Swaraj first raised a red flag over abuse from trolls she received over a controversy involving an inter-faith couple in Lucknow, who accused a passport officer of bigotry.
On Sunday, Swaraj conducted a poll on Twitter asking users whether they "approve” such trolling to which 57 percent of respondents said they opposed it.
The minister's husband Swaraj Kaushal, in an emotional response to a troll, said the Twitter user's harsh words had caused "unbearable pain" to his family.
In the poll, which was conducted for 24 hours after Swaraj initiated it on Saturday night, 1,24,305 Twitter users took part, with 57 per cent respondents backing her, while 43 per cent supporting the trolls.
Asked whether the Ministry of External Affairs is contemplating any action against trolls, Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had said last week that, "The EAM (External Affairs Minister) has responded to those malicious tweets and the trolling which she was subjected to in her own way and in a manner which she deemed fit. I don't think I have anything further to add on that."
After the poll, Swaraj tweeted, "In a democracy difference of opinion is but natural. Please do criticise, but not in foul language. Criticism in decent language is always more effective."
On 24 June, after returning from a tour of European countries, Swaraj began publicising abuse she received in the recent past by tweeting:
I was out of India from 17th to 23rd June 2018. I do not know what happened in my absence. However, I am honoured with some tweets. I am sharing them with you. So I have liked them.
— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) June 24, 2018
The Congress was quick to respond to her statement, saying, "No matter what the situation or reason, nothing calls for threats of violence, disrespect and abuse. Sushma Swaraj ji, we applaud your decision to call out the heinous trolls of your own party."
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti also said she was horrified by the "vicious" trolling of Swaraj on social media and described it as outrageous. Chief minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal tweeted to her husband Swaraj Kaushal and said, "Sir, please don’t explain to these people. Everyone knows who is controlling them and from where it is coming. It is politics. But the sad part is that politics has become so dirty."
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Jul 02, 2018 15:56:41 IST