new Delhi: Facing criticism from the opposition over its relationship with Facebook and its messaging service app WhatsApp, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has hit back at the Congress. The BJP on Tuesday has made a sharp attack by linking the social media platform with the opposition Congress as well as the Trinamool Congress. Also Read – Efforts to burn bullion businessman alive, condition critical: SP-Congress targets government
The Congress held a press conference on Tuesday, in which it continued to attack the BJP over the Facebook issue and claimed that Facebook’s senior executive Ankhi Das was in touch with senior BJP leaders and MPs in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Also Read – Supreme Court’s decision on ‘PM Cares Fund’ a setback for transparency and accountability to the public: Congress
On the other hand, the BJP in this whole matter with Congress spokesperson and former Union Minister Manish Tiwari as well as Vijaya Murthy and Kavita. K. Like others cited the alleged past affiliation of Trinamool Congress (TMC) to Facebook. Also Read – In the PM-Cayers case, Nadda targeted Rahul, said, the court turned water on crooked plans
BJP’s information technology cell chief Amit Malviya said that Vijaya Murthy, who was in the public policy team of Facebook, worked for the Congress in the past. Malviya claimed that Murthy had worked in the Youth Congress’ nationwide election project. According to her LinkedIn profile between January 2012 and April 2015, she was also associated with a socio-political non-governmental organization (NGO).
Malaviya also alleged that Kavitha K. K., whose LinkedIn profile shows that she is working for the social media giant and she has also worked for the Trinamool Congress MP in the past. Kavita’s LinkedIn profile shows TMC leader Derek O. between 2015 and 2017. Brian mentions working as a Principal Policy Associate. Despite Manish Tiwari’s denial, Malviya claimed that he had worked for the Atlantic Council in the past.
The IT cell chief of the BJP said, Tiwari was appointed a distinguished senior fellow of the Atlantic Council, who in turn was tasked with doing political campaigning through Facebook. Whether you like it or not, it is a fact. He claimed that in the general elections of 2019, 700 Facebook pages with original ideology of BJP were removed. He said that lakhs of supporters were also linked on these pages, but they were removed.
In a press release issued by the Atlantic Council on 9 January 2017 quoting Bharat Gopalaswamy, the director of its then South Asia Center, we are happy to welcome Manish Tiwari to our team. We look forward to his years of expertise in serving the Government of India and will be an invaluable addition to the team at the South Asia Center, as we continue to scale up our programming on India and the subcontinent.
Tiwari insisted that this was merely a campaign to defame him. He claims that he was a distinguished senior fellow at the South Asia Center, where his tenure was from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2019. He claims that he was the successor of Jai Panda of BJP.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Pawan Kheda has also criticized the BJP on the whole matter, to which Malaviya has also responded. He claimed that Facebook-India MD Ajit Mohan worked with the Planning Commission during the UPA era. He alleged that another Facebook employee, Siddharth Majumdar, who worked in the company’s public policy team, also worked with Ahmed Patel, a close aide of Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi.