Maharashtra govt to probe celebrities’ “internal matter” tweets

The Maharashtra government on Monday said it will conduct a probe into allegations that some celebrities were pressurised recently to issue tweets in connection with the ongoing farmers agitation.

Many celebrities, including Sachin Tendulkar and Lata Mangeshkar, took to the micro blogging website to support the Narendra Modi government with hashtags #IndiaTogether and #IndiaAgainstPropaganda.

Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh said that the state intelligence department will investigate the matter and noted that the tweets issued by the celebrities were similar.

These celebrities came after US pop star Rihanna and climate activist Greta Thunberg backed the thousands of farmers who are protesting near Delhi’s border points against the Centre’s three new agri laws.

The government decision came after the Congress, a ruling coalition partner in Maharashtra, sought a probe into the BJP’s connection with the tweets and whether BJP “arm-twisted” the celebrities in question.

“The Congress’s question is whether the celebrities were forced to issue tweets of the same kind simultaneously,” Deshmukh said.

“You may have seen what kind of pressure is there on the media, how politicians are threatened with ED or CBI probe if they speak against the BJP. We have all seen this,” minister said.

Congress leader Sachin Sawant told the presser that there is a “scope” of BJP’s involvement in the tweets put out by the celebrities.

“There was series of tweets after MEA’s response to Rihanna’s tweet. If a person opines on their own, it’s fine but there’s scope of suspicion that BJP could be behind this” said Sawant.

However, the saffron party slammed the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA)’s decision to probe the tweets by celebrities, terming the move “disgusting and highly deplorable.”

In a tweet, senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis said the Maharashtra government should feel ashamed while using the word “probe” for Bharat Ratna awardees.