Congress Wants "Manipulated Media" Tag On 11 Union Ministers' Tweets

Randeep Surjewala's list included Giriraj Singh, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Smriti Irani, Piyush Goyal, Pralhad Joshi, Dharmendra Pradhan, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Dr Harsh Vardhan and others.

New Delhi:

The Congress amplified the "toolkit" issue today demanding that Twitter affix the "manipulated media" tag to the tweets of several Union ministers who allegedly posted the "forged document" from their official social media handles. Calling it "false and malicious propaganda", senior party leader Randeep Surjewala listed the names of 11 ministers and provided the links to their tweets in his letter to the social media platform.

The Congress has alleged that content of the toolkit document was forged by some BJP leaders to spread potentially dangerous allegations against the party and gain undue political advantage.

Without mentioning the issue, the party's senior leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted, "Truth remains unafraid".

Mr Surjewala's list included Union ministers Giriaj Singh, Piyush Goyal, Smriti Irani, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Prahlad Joshi, Dharmendra Pradhan, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Thawarchand Gehlot, Harsh Vardhan, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.

In his letter, the senior Congress leader alleged that the ministers'  tweets are identical to the material already been marked ''manipulated media'' by Twitter.

"It is a matter of fact that people tend to believe ''true'' and take on face value, any information that is put up directly by a Union Minister of the Government of India through his/ her official/ verified Twitter account," Mr Surjewala wrote.

"Hence, it becomes all the more imperative to tag 'manipulative media' on all such tweets made by Ministers... It is reasonable to expect that the aforementioned individuals will be dealt with the same yardstick as applied in other cases where the Twitter platform is misused to broadcast forged and fabricated material..." he added.

The Twitter had earlier tagged BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra's tweet as "manipulated media", which drew sharp reaction from the government and action from the Delhi Police.

The Electronics and IT ministry sought that Twitter remove the tag as matter was being investigated.

The police – which issued a notice to Twitter and visited its offices in Delhi and neighbouring Gurgaon last evening -- questioned why Mr Patra's tweets were marked as "manipulated". The responses of the social media platform were "evasive", they alleged.

Earlier today, two Congress leaders -- Rajiv Gowda and Rohan Gupta --who initially lodged a complaint about Mr Patra's "toolkit" tweet were served notice by the Delhi Police.