- Sunil Ambekar said the views expressed are not of RSS but of the author's
- He said Infosys has a significant contribution in the progress of India
- He said RSS should not be linked with the views expressed in the article
The BJP's ideological mentor RSS has distanced itself from a piece published in Panchjanya - a journal with roots in the Sangh - that questioned whether an "anti-national" conspiracy could be behind glitches on India's tax-filing websites handled by information technology giant Infosys Ltd. The editor of the magazine, Hitesh Shankar, backed the article and said if Infosys has objections "it should present its side by urging for a more thorough investigation".
In the latest edition of the journal linked to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a four-page cover story on the Bengaluru-based firm founded by Narayana Murthy asked whether "anti-national power is trying to hurt India's economic interests through it".
Today, RSS spokesperson Sunil Ambekar tweeted that the views expressed in the piece are not of the organisation's but of the author's.
"As an Indian company, Infosys has made seminal contribution in progress of the country. There might be certain issues with a portal run by Infosys, but the article published by Panchjanya in this context only reflects individual opinion of the author," Mr Ambekar said.
"Panchjanya is not mouthpiece of the RSS and the said article or opinions expressed in it should not be linked with the RSS," he said.
As an Indian company, Infosys has made seminal contribution in progress of the country. There might be certain issues with a portal run by Infosys, but the article published by Panchjanya in this context only reflects individual opinion of the author. @editorvskbharat— Sunil Ambekar (@SunilAmbekarM) September 5, 2021
Panchjanya's editor Hitesh Shankar said the publication "stands firm" with the report. "If Infosys has objections, it should present its side by urging for a more thorough investigation of these facts in the interest of the company... Some elements are mentioning RSS in this episode due to vested interests. Remember, this report is not related to the Sangh, the report is about Infosys. It is a matter of facts and facts relating to the incompetence of the company," Mr Shankar tweeted.
3) Some elements are mentioning RSS in this episode due to vested interests. Remember, this report is not related to the Sangh, the report is about Infosys. It is a matter of facts and facts relating to the incompetence of the company.#Infosys@email@example.com/hNGU2HYVgO— Hitesh Shankar (@hiteshshankar) September 5, 2021
Last month, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in a meeting with Infosys CEO Salil Parekh expressed "deep disappointment" over persistent glitches on the new income tax portal set up by the company and gave him till September 15 to resolve all issues.
The Infosys CEO was "summoned" after the portal was shut for two days in a row. The Finance Minister had underlined the concerns of the government and taxpayers about continuing glitches even two-and-a-half months after the website's launch - which, the minister pointed out, was also delayed. Ms Sitharaman asked for an explanation from Infosys for the "repeated issues" faced by taxpayers.
The article in Panchjanya said due to glitches in both the goods and services tax (GST) and income tax return websites developed by Infosys, "taxpayers' trust in the country's economy has taken a hit. Is it that anti-national forces via Infosys are trying to hurt India's economic interests?"
The article said it does not, however, have evidence to support its theories, but alleged Infosys has been accused in the past of helping "Naxalites, leftists and tukde-tukde gangs", news agency PTI reported.
Panchjanya editor Hitesh Shankar said Infosys is a big firm and it is handling critical projects of the government because of its credibility. "The glitches in these tax portals are of national concern and those who are responsible for them should be held accountable," Mr Shankar said, PTI reported.