Days after a plethora of Indian celebrities tweeted to counter global criticism, the Maharashtra government is will be probing the tweets. Congress leader Sachin Sawant approached Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh alleging that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) put pressure on “national heroes” to tweet in support of the Centre over the farm laws.
“There was a series of tweets after the Ministry of External Affairs' (MEA) response to Rihanna's tweet. If a person, be it a celebrity, opine on their own, it is fine but, there is a scope of suspicion that BJP could be behind this. We have cited common words like 'amicable' in these tweets,” he told a news agency.
Sawant added that the contents of the tweets by Badminton star Saina Nehwal and actor Akshay Kumar are same while actor Sunil Shetty had tagged a BJP leader.
“This shows that there was communication between the celebrities and the ruling party leaders. It needs to be investigated if there was any pressure from the BJP on these national heroes for such advocacy on social media. If so, these celebrities need to be given more protection,” Sawant said.
Home Minister Deshmukh said that the celebrities put out the same post at the same time. “The state intelligence department will check if the tweets were posted in a synchronized manner. It is revealed that the celebrities tweeted similar messages at the same time. Hence, a probe will take place to find out as to why it has happened,” said Deshmukh. He added that everyone is aware of what kind of pressure is there on media and politicians are threatened with ED or CBI probe if they speak against the BJP.
Meanwhile, the BJP slammed the Maharashtra government’s decision to investigate the tweets of celebrities calling it disguting. BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis said the Maharashtra government should feel ashamed for ordering a probe against Bharat Ratna awardees
Several Indian celebrities such as Lata Mangeshkar, Sachin Tendulkar, Akshay Kumar, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, etc., posted similar tweets reading, “India’s sovereignty cannot be compromised. External forces can be spectators but not participants. Indians know India and should decide for India. Let’s remain united as a nation.” Hashtags such as #IndiaTogether and #IndiaAgainstPropaganda were used after foreign celebrities such as Rihanna, Mia Khalifa and Greta Thunberg, etc., tweeted in support of the farmers’ protest.