Monday, May 27, 2024

X takes down posts by leaders of BJP, AAP, YSR Congress, TDP on Election Commission of India order

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Social media platform X (formerly Twitter) published take-down notices issued by the Election Commission of India (EC) of four posts on the platform by political leaders in the YSR Congress Party, the Telugu Desam Party, the Aam Aadmi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party.

The company has taken the tweets down in India. The company said that it disagrees with the takedown order issued by the election monitoring body.

With nearly a billion eligible voters, the Lok Sabha election will set off on Friday.

“In compliance with the orders, we have withheld these posts for the remainder of the election period; however, we disagree with these actions and maintain that freedom of expression should extend to these posts and political speech in general,” reads the statement from X.

In the current batch of orders, the poll body has cited a prohibition on campaigners targeting their rivals’ personal lives while politicking.

The Aam Aadmi Party’s post targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi features a news from the online news portal The Quint, which reads, “ED Arrested Aurobindo Pharma’s Director. 5 Days Later, It Bought Electoral Bonds.”

The party added a caption to the post saying “Bond Chor [thief],” over an edited image of Modi.

Telugu Desam Party leader Chandrababu Naidu’s post featured what appears to be a document from the Central Bureau of Investigation, where he says that the agency “seized a staggering 25,000 kilos of drugs at Vizag Port, today,” and that “non-cooperation of AP Police and port employees suggests complicity and point towards the potential involvement of the ruling party.”

Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party is in the opposition in Andhra Pradesh.

The EC takedown was from the account of Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and BJP member Samrat Choudhary, who in a video and tweet said that Rashtriya Janata Dal president Lalu Prasad was a “seasoned player” in selling tickets to contest elections. Choudhary added a remark that Prasad “did not even spare his daughter” in this, and “took a kidney from her and then gave a ticket.”

Choudhary appeared to be referencing the fact that Prasad’s daughter Rohini Acharya had donated her kidney to him for a transplant last February.

YSR Congress’s post was not available after the user deleted the post altogether.


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