Maharashtra Govt to Probe If BJP 'Arm Twisted' Celebrities Who Posted Pro-Centre Tweets

Many celebrities posted tweets supporting the Central government in its backlash to the global support to the farmers' protest.

New Delhi: Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh said on Monday, February 8, that the state government will investigate tweets by celebrities who posted similarly in response to the global support to the farmers’ protest.

“It has been revealed that there were same posts by celebrities and at the same time. Hence it will be investigated why it has happened,” NDTV reported Deshmukh as having said.

Deshmukh, a senior NCP leader, made these remarks after the Congress sought investigation into the BJP’s alleged connection to the tweets posted by celebrities and whether they were “arm-twisted” to issue such tweets.

Deshmukh said the state intelligence department will probe the allegations.

Also read: Stumped by a Tweet: The Irrelevance of Indian Cricketers

Many celebrities including cricketers past and present like Sachin Tendulkar, Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane, singer Lata Mangeshkar, actors Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty and Ajay Devgn and badminton player Saina Nehwal posted tweets supporting the Central government on social media, using hashtags #IndiaTogether and #IndiaAgainstPropaganda.

Their tweets came shortly after the Ministry of External Affairs issued a rejoinder claiming that the farmers’ protests were ‘internal matter’, following tweets by Rihanna and climate activist Greta Thunberg backing farmers who are protesting near Delhi border.

‘BJP twisting issue’

BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis said it was necessary to probe the “mental state” of those who demanded the investigation and those who ordered it. He said the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) should feel ashamed while using the word “probe” for Bharat Ratna awardees.

Fadnavis also invoked Maratha pride.

Hitting back at Fadnavis, Maharashtra Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant accused the BJP of deliberately trying to twist the issue.

He said the Congress demaned the “probe of the BJP (connection to the tweets)”, and not of celebrities.

“Why BJP is keeping mum on why tweets of Akshay Kumar and Saina Nehwal are matching with each other? Why Suniel Shetty tags his tweet to a BJP office bearer? Why BJP is scared of probe?” Sawant tweeted.

He further questioned why the drafts of most of the tweets are identical and have the same word “amicable” mentioned in them.