Twitter blocks two Yogi Adityanath tweets, heeding Election Commission advice

The tweets had targeted Congress ally Indian Union Muslim League in Kerala

By Furquan Ameen in New Delhi
  • Published 17.04.19, 4:31 PM
  • Updated 18.04.19, 8:24 AM
  • 2 mins read
  •  
The IUML, which is an ally of the Congress in Kerala, prayed to the Election Commission that the social media accounts of Adityanath, Manjinder S. Sirsa, Giriraj Singh and Amit Malviya, among others, should be disabled. PTI file photo

Twitter has heeded the Election Commission's advice and blocked two tweets by Yogi Adityanath in which he had equated the Indian Union Muslim League to a "green virus".  

Election Commission spokesperson Sheyphali Sharan confirmed the development, which makes this a fresh action that the poll panel has taken against the Uttar Pradesh chief minister. The tweet blocker says the text has been removed because of a "legal demand". 

The tweet blocker on Yogi Adityanath's Twitter handle.
The tweet blocker on Yogi Adityanath's Twitter handle.

The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) had registered a complaint with the poll watchdog on April 5, the same day that Adityanath tweeted.

The IUML, which is an ally of the Congress in Kerala, prayed to the Election Commission that the social media accounts of Adityanath, Manjinder S. Sirsa, Giriraj Singh and Amit Malviya, among others, should be disabled.

An April 4 tweet by Sirsa, who is a national spokesperson of BJP ally Shiromani Akali Dal, and one on the same day by Malviya, who is in charge of the BJP's information & technology cell, have also been blocked by Twitter.

The IUML has filed another complaint mentioning a speech by BJP chief Amit Shah who targeted Congress chief Rahul Gandhi’s rally in Wayanad.

Rahul is contesting from Wayanad in Kerala and Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.

The second complaint by IUML referred to Shah’s rally in Nagpur on April 9, where he had said that Rahul had gone to a seat where “when a procession is taken out there, it is difficult to make out whether it is an Indian or a Pakistani procession”.

Apart from the Congress flags, the rally also saw many flying IUML flags – a white crescent and star on a green background. These green flags became the target of the BJP, which also tried to equate the Indian Union Muslim League with the All India Muslim League of Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

Adityanath's attacks on the IUML were not limited to the two tweets. On Monday, the BJP’s star campaigner told a rally in Odisha: “Desh ke vibhaajan ke liye zimmedaar Muslim League ke saath gathbandhan karte hain (Congress is forging an alliance with the Muslim League, which was responsible for Partition).”

The IUML, which has been in mainstream politics in Kerala for over five decades, wrote a brief explainer on its history in its April 5 complaint to the Election Commission in which it made a distinction between its organisation and the All India Muslim League.

Speaking to this website, P. K. Kunhalikutty, the party's national general secretary, said: “The IUML has since the last 50 years been a partner of the Congress. At different times, the IUML has opposed communal parties. Even during the Ayodhya problem, which they (the BJP) created, Kerala was safe, secure and harmonious because the IUML took a stand and ensured that.” When asked about the Uttar Pradesh chief minister's speeches, he said: “Yogi Adityanath doesn’t know anything about Kerala, IUML or Indian politics. Actually, the virus is them. They pollute the politics with communal theories.”

Kunhalikutty, who is the MP from Kerala's Malappuram, said: “This party is a totally different organisation and was formed after independence. It has no connection with that party (All India Muslim League).”

The IUML was formed in 1948, after India got its independence and the All India Muslim League had moved to then East and West Pakistan.

“Initially, IUML had no role in the Kerala government. After the EMS (Namboodiripad) government was dismissed by Nehru in 1959, the League came into mainstream in Kerala politics,” said Ashraf Kadakkal, a historian at the University of Kerala. The second time EMS became the chief minister of Kerala was in 1967 with the Muslim League’s support.

“Since the 60s, the Muslim League has been a part of the government, either with the United Democratic Front (UDF) or the Left Democratic Front (LDF). And since 1984, they have been in the Congress-led front, the UDF,” Kadakkal said.

The IUML has 18 MLAs and two MPs from Kerala.