Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Tuesday said the state government has ordered a probe into tweets by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s IT cell, while refuting the allegations of enquiring against singer Lata Mangeshkar and cricketer Sachin Tendulkar over their pro-India tweets issued after some foreign celebrities talked about farmers’ protest.
Deshmukh’s statement came in response to BJP leader and former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who trained guns at the Maharashtra government in the State Assembly. He suggested that the government was trying to probe two Bharat Ratna awardees ,Sachin Tendulkar and Lata Mangeshkar over their tweets in support of the centre and its handling of the farmers’ protest near Delhi.
In the Assembly, Fadnavis said that Tendulkar and Mangeshkar had tweeted that India is against propaganda and India stands united, and questioned if it is wrong to say such things in this country. He asked Deshmukh to think well before acting on such complaints.
Dismissing Fadnavis’ charges, Deshmukh said that he did not speak about probing Tendulkar or Mangeshkar, instead he had talked about probing the IT cell of a political party, whose name he did not take. The probe was conducted and names of 12 persons have come to the fore in this connection, added the minister.
Later, Deshmukh mentioned that the IT cell concerned is of the BJP. To which, Fadnavis replied that he will feel proud if he asks anyone to tweet for the country.What offence one has committed for asking celebrities to side with the country if there was propaganda going on against it, the BJP leader asked.
Early last month, a number of prominent personalities, including Tendulkar and Mangeshkar, had joined together with the central government on social media using hashtags #IndiaTogether and #IndiaAgainstPropaganda against pop star Rihanna and her six-word tweet on the farmers’ protest.
American pop star Rihanna and climate activist Greta Thunberg had tweeted in solidarity with farmers who are protesting near Delhi’s border points against three farm laws enacted by the Centre in September last year.