Maharashtra to probe celebrities tweets over farmers’ protest following Congress’ allegations

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Mumbai: The Maharashtra government on Monday (February 8, 2021) announced to probe celebrities’ tweets on the farmers’ protests following allegations from the Congress. Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said that the state intelligence department will conduct a probe into allegations that some celebrities were pressurised recently to issue tweets in connection with the ongoing farmers’ protest.

The announcement comes days after several famous faces including cricketers Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, singer Lata Mangeshkar and Bollywood stars Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn tweeted on the farmers’ protests using social media hashtags #IndiaTogether and #IndiaAgainstPropaganda.

Their tweets came after American pop star Rihanna and climate activist Greta Thunberg backed farmers’ protests against the Centre’s three new farm laws.

Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh made the remarks after the Congress, one of the ruling alliance partner in Maharashtra, sought an investigation into the BJP’s alleged connection with tweets of some celebrities and whether the saffron party ‘arm-twisted’ them.

Maharashtra Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant and some other party leaders on Monday raised the demand before Deshmukh in a meeting via video conference.

Responding to the demand, Deshmukh said the objection of the Congress leaders is in connection with the timing of the tweets and whether they were issued under pressure.

The Maharashtra Home Minister noted that the tweets issued by badminton player Saina Nehwal and Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar were similar.

“The Congress’ question is whether they (celebrities) were forced to issue tweets of the same kind simultaneously,” the minister said.

He added, “You may have seen what kind of pressure is there on the media, how a politician is threatened with ED or CBI probe if he/she speaks against the BJP. We have all seen this.”

“As far as your objection (about celebrities’ tweets) is concerned, we will definitely probe into those. Our intelligence agency will probe it,” Deshmukh said.

Following the virtual meeting with Deshmukh, Sawant said, “Demanded investigation of BJP connection into the tweets of celebrities and security to be provided to our national heroes if needed and find out whether these celebrities were arm-twisted by BJP.”

This is to be noted that thousands of farmers have camped at Delhi’s borders and are protesting since late November 2020 against the three newly enacted farm laws namely Farmers` Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

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