Rahul Gandhi Condemns Arrest Of UP Journalists, BJP Cites Karnataka "Hypocrisy"

The BJP responded to Rahul Gandhi's tweet by listing out similar actions that were taken by the HD Kumaraswamy government in Karnataka.

 Share
EMAIL
PRINT
COMMENTS
Rahul Gandhi Condemns Arrest Of UP Journalists, BJP Cites Karnataka 'Hypocrisy'

The BJP claimed Rahul Gandhi was ignoring the action taken by HD Kumaraswamy against journalists.


New Delhi: 

A post by Congress chief Rahul Gandhi condemning the arrest of journalists by Uttar Pradesh authorities on defamation charges sparked off a war of words on social media today, with the BJP calling him "hypocritical" for overlooking similar actions by his party's coalition government with the Janata Dal Secular (JDS) in Karnataka.

It all started when Rahul Gandhi tweeted around noon today that the Yogi Adityanath government's action of arresting five people, including Delhi-based journalist Prashant Kanojia, amounted to gross overreaction. "If every journalist who files a false report or peddles fake, vicious RSS/BJP sponsored propaganda about me is put in jail, most newspapers/news channels would face a severe staff shortage. The UP CM is behaving foolishly & needs to release the arrested journalists," his post read.

Incidentally, Mr Kanojia was granted bail by the Supreme Court today. The right to liberty was a non-negotiable fundamental right, the court said, but clarified that its decision should not be "construed as approval" of the journalist's tweets.

The BJP responded to Rahul Gandhi's tweet by listing out similar actions that were taken by the HD Kumaraswamy government in Karnataka. "Your CM @hd_kumaraswamy openly threatens and abuses journalists. Journalist Santosh Thammaiah arrested for speaking against atrocity of Tippu. FIR filed on @VishweshwarBhat for reporting on CM's son's behaviour. You're exactly how a human version of 'hypocrisy' would look like," it tweeted.

The party followed it up with another tweet targeting the Karnataka Chief Minister. "Anna, your friend @rahulgandhi thinks you are behaving foolishly by arresting people who are posting memes or writing blogs against you. But he is scared to name you, fearing that you will pull the plug & his party will be out of power in Karnataka! Listen to him," it said.

Santosh Thammaiah, the editor of a Kannada publication, was taken into custody in November for allegedly making communally sensitive comments in connection with the state government's decision to celebrate Tipu Jayanti. In the second instance, a police complaint was filed against Vishwavani Editor-in-Chief Vishweshwar Bhat last month on charges of publishing "derogatory content" about HD Kumaraswamy's son Nikhil Gowda.

The JDS skirted the allegations put forth by the BJP, instead claiming that the BJP's tweets were an admission that its supporters in Karnataka circulate fake news. "@BJP4Karnataka So you're accepting that you and your supporters peddle fake news & end up in jail? Must be pretty tough acknowledging it. Next step is, understanding peddling fake news with malicious intention is not FoE. Third step is, Stop. Peddling. Fake. News!" it tweeted.

The Supreme Court granted bail to Prashant Kanojia on a petition filed by his wife, Jagisha Arora. Four others were also arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police on similar charges over the last two days, sparking a debate on freedom of expression in the country. The Editors Guild of India has termed the arrests as a "high-handed and arbitrary" action that amounts to "authoritarian misuse of laws".

(With inputs from PTI)



Get Breaking news, live coverage, and Latest News from India and around the world on NDTV.com. Catch all the Live TV action on NDTV 24x7 and NDTV India. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for latest news and live news updates.

NDTV Beeps - your daily newsletter

................................ Advertisement ................................

................................ Advertisement ................................

................................ Advertisement ................................