Toolkit used by BJP to target opponents, says Sanjay Raut
Mumbai, May 25: Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Tuesday alleged that social media or 'toolkits' were used by the BJP to target opponents, adding that when it faced a backlash, it put pressure through various ways.
Raut made the comments while talking to reporters in connection with a notice sent by the Delhi Police to Twitter India over the probe into a complaint about an alleged 'COVID toolkit'.
The BJP had accused the Congress of creating a 'toolkit' that seeks to tarnish the image of the country and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the Congress has denied the allegation and claimed the BJP is propagating a fake 'toolkit' to defame it. Last week, Twitter labelled as "manipulated media" a tweet by BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra on the alleged 'toolkit'.
When asked about the issue, Raut said, "Social media or toolkit was used by the BJP previously. However, when it faced a backlash, it is carrying out raids, apprehending some people or pressuring through various ways." "We are watching it and enjoying it." he added.
A debate is going on in the country and across the world about toolkits and social media, the Rajya Sabha member said without elaborating. On the reported meet between top leaders of the BJP and the RSS to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the party's image and its fallout on state polls, including of Uttar Pradesh, due next year, Raut said he does not want to comment on the issue.
"I have deep respect for Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat. I expect critical remarks from him over the thousands of bodies washed up on the Ganga river banks recently. The issue was as important as the Ram temple," he said.
Asked about claims by some sources that the list of 12 members to be nominated to the Maharashtra Legislative Council was with the state governor's office, Raut said he was happy that "no ghost had stolen the file".
"Was it Bofors, or Rafale, or any corruption charges-related file?" he asked. Raut said it contained names of 12 candidates to be appointed as MLCs from the governor's quota. The names were unanimously cleared by the state cabinet. "I will distribute sweets in the Raj Bhavan when the list is signed by the governor," he said.
The ruling Shiv Sena in Maharashtra has been targeting Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari over the delay in the nomination of 12 members to the Legislative Council under the governor's quota. The file recommending the 12 names for nomination to the Upper House was sent to the governor in November last year.
On Monday, Raut said there were reports that the Raj Bhavan had replied to an RTI query that it did not have the file containing names of the 12 persons recommended by the state government.