regular-article-logo Thursday, 23 May 2024

Murder of democracy: Congress slams Centre over X's statement on farmers protest posts

The social media platform also called for extending freedom of expression to the affected posts

PTI New Delhi Published 22.02.24, 02:34 PM


The Congress Thursday alleged that democracy is being "murdered" in the country after microblogging platform X voiced disagreement with the Centre's order to block accounts and posts related to ongoing farmers' protests.

Attacking the Centre, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi claimed the public knows that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has "murdered democracy" and the public will give an answer to it.


"If farmers ask for MSP, shoot them -- is this the mother of democracy? When the youth ask for appointment, then refuse to even listen to them - this is the Mother of Democracy? If the former governor tells the truth, then send CBI to his house -- is this the mother of democracy?" he asked.

"Freeze the bank account of the most prominent opposition party – is this the mother of democracy? Section 144, internet ban, sharp wires, tear gas shells – is this the mother of democracy? Be it media or social media, suppressing every voice of truth - is this the mother of democracy?" the former Congress chief said.

"Modi ji, the public knows that you have murdered democracy and the public will answer!" Gandhi said.

X has also called for extending freedom of expression to the affected posts.

Sources said the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has ordered social media platforms to temporarily block 177 accounts linked to the farmers' protests on the request of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

Tagging a statement issued by X's Global Government Affairs team, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said, "Murder Of Democracy in India." In its statement, the microblogging platform said: "The Indian government has issued executive orders requiring X to act on specific accounts and posts, subject to potential penalties, including significant fines and imprisonment. In compliance with the orders, we will withhold these accounts and posts in India alone; however, we disagree with these actions and maintain that freedom of expression should extend to these posts." It said a writ appeal challenging the government's blocking orders remains pending and called for making the order public to enhance transparency.

"Due to legal restrictions, we are unable to publish the executive orders, but we believe that making them public is essential for transparency. This lack of disclosure can lead to a lack of accountability and arbitrary decision-making," X said.

The microblogging platform has provided the impacted users with a notice of the government's actions in accordance with the company's policies.

Farmers from across the country have been protesting to press the Centre for their demands, including a legal guarantee on the minimum support price (MSP) for crops and farm loan waiver.

The protesting farmer leaders put their march to Delhi on hold for two days on Wednesday after a protester was killed and about 12 police personnel were injured in clashes at one of the protest sites on the Punjab-Haryana border.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

Follow us on: