MUMBAI: Amid the ongoing spat between the Centre and social media platforms regarding the new IT guidelines, Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana, in its editorial on Monday said microblogging site 'Twitter' has lost the political interest of the BJP and has become a 'burden', which the ruling government wants to throw away.
"Earlier, Twitter was the soul of political struggle or campaign for the BJP or the Modi government. Twitter has now become a burden for them and the Modi government has reached the extent of deciding whether to throw this burden away. Today, all the media in the country is under the complete control of the Modi government, except the mediums like Twitter."
The editorial believes Twitter has lost the political interest of BJP as the opposition has started responding to its alleged "false propaganda".
"In the last few years, a campaign of mud hurling, character assassination is being run on social media. No political party other than BJP knew how to make full use of it. In 2014, the BJP had mastered this task. In the campaign of that time, the BJP army was more active in the cyber world and less on the ground," it said.
"Under what rules did the objectionable words used for Rahul Gandhi on Twitter and Facebook? What are the adjectives used for a senior leader like Dr Manmohan Singh? From Uddhav Thackeray, who has spent life in politics and social service to politicians like Mamata Banerjee, Sharad Pawar, Priyanka Gandhi, Mulayam Singh Yadav, etc, character assassination campaign was launched against opposition leaders," questioned Saamana.
It said Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi criticises the Prime Minister Modi-led central government these days that catches good response across the country.
"As long as these attacks were going on in a one-sided manner, the BJP members were happy, but when the opposition launched attacks by deploying equally capable cyber forces, then there was panic in the BJP camp. In West Bengal polls, Trinamool Congress' Mohua Moitra and Derek O'Brien injured the BJP with the double-edged sword of Twitter. In the Bihar elections, Tejashwi Yadav exposed Modi and Nitish Kumar through Twitter," the editorial said.
Saamana alleged that the BJP-led central government has failed in containing the COVID-19 pandemic. And due to social media platforms like Twitter, the heart-wrenching scene of "dead bodies flowing in the Ganges, pyre burning continuously in Varanasi and Gujarat, ambulance queues outside the crematoriums reached the world and the working style of the BJP government was exposed".
Citing non-compliance of New Intermediary Guideline Rules by Twitter, the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) on Saturday sent a final communication to Twitter asking them to comply immediately with the requirements of the new guidelines, failing which resultant consequences as enjoined in the law shall follow.