Blatant attempt to intimidate Twitter: Rajeev Gowda

The BJP, to cover their own forgery, is using the Delhi Police, says the head of the Research Department of the Congress.

M.V. Rajeev Gowda, who heads the Research Department of the Congress, speaks to The Hindu, regarding the BJP’s charges on the alleged ‘Congress toolkit’ seeking to tarnish India’s image, the Twitter’s alleged bias towards the Congress and raids on the micro-blogging website by Delhi police.

The Twitter offices in Delhi were raided by the police, following the entire Congress toolkit controversy. Your comments

This is a blatant attempt to intimidate Twitter, by using the state machinery to defend the party. The government of India has no authority to censor Twitter who, after their own independent fact-checking, put out the tag “manipulated media” on the post by BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra. Their investigations must have thrown up evidence to show that the post was manipulated. Now the BJP, to cover their own forgery, is using the Delhi Police.

What is the truth behind the BJP allegations that the Congress created a toolkit to specifically call out the B.1.617 as ‘Indian Strain’ or ‘Modi Strain’ to defame India and specifically Prime Minister Narendra Modi?

This a conspiracy that has been hatched at the highest levels of the BJP to deflect attention from the devastation that India is experiencing. The documents circulated by them are forged using the letterhead of the Research Department of the Congress. And now that they are exposed and senior leaders, including Cabinet Ministers, could go to jail for it, they are panicking.

By your own admission at least one of the documents — the one of the Central Vista — is not fake. How did the leak happen?

The document on the Central Vista is a fairly straight forward summary of the issue critiquing the government. And which is what the Opposition does. Hold the government accountable for its actions and inactions. We don’t know how it leaked. It is not a public document. It was only meant for internal circulation. Maybe, some members who are on the mailing list, defected during the recent polls or the BJP stole it. It is a matter of investigation. What is deplorable is that a ruling party that enjoys brute majority in the Lok Sabha has descended to such levels to do forgery to deflect attention.

The BJP alleges that Twitter is biased towards the Congress. Your comments?

I don’t know anybody who knows anybody on Twitter. It is up to Twitter to follow their established policy and practices that are used globally to fact check.

But why did you have to go all the way to Raipur to file an FIR, why not file it in Delhi?

Our first reaction was to file a complaint with the Delhi Police. We e-mailed our complaint to the Delhi Police Commissioner. The Delhi Police did not file an FIR. They later claimed that they never received any complaint from us. Now when this controversy broke out, many people were angry with the BJP. One of the persons filed a case in Raipur and we joined in on the complaint. While the Delhi Police is investigating Twitter, the truth is they are yet to file even an FIR. My question is, why did the Delhi police not take cognisance of the criminal forgery done by senior BJP and Cabinet Ministers who have been circulating these forged documents.

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