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Facebook must demonstrate neutrality, revamp its SOPs: Congress

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Karnataka, K.C. Venugopal

New Delhi: A day after the resignation of Facebook India’s controversial public policy head Ankhi Das, the Congress on Wednesday welcomed the change in Facebook India’s leadership team.

The Congress also said that the matter will not be resolved by just changing one individual.

“Facebook must demonstrate its neutrality through a thorough revamp of its institutional processes and standard operating procedures (SOPs), so as to ensure foolproof checks and balances that cannot be tinkered by an individual’s whims and political leanings,” said Congress General Secretary (organisation), K.C. Venugopal.

“It must also outline the steps taken to curb false, polarising and hate news/content spread rampantly on its platform, threatening India’s social harmony,” he added.

After American newspaper Wall Street Journal had on August 14 reported substantively on the blatant biases of Facebook India’s team headed by Ankhi Das, the Congress had raised the issue.

The newspaper had reported that Das and her political partisanship towards the ruling party and its leaders, by way of wilful propagation, was spreading spread fake and hate news.

Subsequently, the Congress wrote two formal letters to the CEO of Facebook Inc, Mark Zuckerberg, urging him to look into the matter seriously. Facebook responded to the letter reiterating its neutrality and promising due action.

Facebook India’s controversial public policy head Ankhi Das is leaving the company with immediate effect “to pursue her interest in public service”, the social networking giant announced on Tuesday.

“Ankhi has decided to step down from her role in Facebook to pursue her interest in public service. Ankhi was one of our earliest employees in India and played an instrumental role in the growth of the company and its services over the last nine years,” Ajit Mohan, Vice President and Managing Director, Facebook India, said in a statement.

India

Ahmedbhai had no personal ambition, only interest was Congress: CWC

The CWC also passed a resolution condoling the death of veteran leader and three-time Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi who also succumbed to Covid.

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Ahmed Patel

New Delhi: The Congress Working Committee on Friday met and offered condolences to the family of veteran leader and Treasurer Ahmed Patel who passed away on November 25 due to Covid-related complications.

The CWC, in its resolution, said that “Ahmedbhai had no personal ambition. The interest of the Congress was his only interest and the advancement of the Congress agenda was his only agenda. He was deeply religious but secular to the core. Ahmedbhai’s simplicity, austerity, accessibility and generosity were legendary.

Recognising his contributions over four decades to the party, it stressed on “his unique capacity to reconcile competing aspirations and forge unity and comradeship among the leaders and its members”.

Patel passed away at the Medanta hospital in Gurugram on Wednesday morning. Amid thousands of well wishers, his mortal remains were laid to rest on Thursday in his ancestral village in Gujarat’s Bharuch district, with many top party leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, present to pay their last respects.

The last rites were carried out at the Sunni Vohra Muslim Jamaat graveyard in Piraman village. As per his wish, his body was buried beside his parents’ graves and all Covid-19 guidelines and protocols were followed during the funeral.

The CWC also passed a resolution condoling the death of veteran leader and three-time Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi who also succumbed to Covid.

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CM Nitish Kumar hits back at Tejashwi, asks who made him Deputy CM

Tejashwi Yadav clarified that Nitish Kumar called him a small child.

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tejashwi yadav nitish kumar

Patna: After RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav’s personal attack, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar hit back at him and said that Yadav is lying.

Nitish Kumar was looking very angry during a speech in the Bihar assembly. He addressed Tejashwi as ‘Tum’ in Hindi during the speech.

“Who was responsible for making his father (Lalu Prasad) leader of the Lok Dal and who was responsible for making him (Tejashwi Yadav) deputy CM. Everyone knows it,” Kumar said in the assembly.

Earlier, Tejashwi said that CM Nitish Kumar was scared of the girl child, hence he avoided becoming a father a second time.

Following the CM’s speech, Manoj Jha, Rajya Sabha MP and RJD chief spokesperson said: “The unparliamentary language used by Nitish Kumar reflects his status. He is not more than a remote control CM and people of Bihar know who is having actual power in Bihar.”

“We have heard about jobs on compassionate grounds. Nitish Kumar was nominated as the CM on the same grounds,” Jha said.

Tejashwi Yadav clarified that Nitish Kumar called him a small child.

“I said that he was afraid of the girl child. Hence he has not become a father again. It was a reflection of Nitish Kumar’s statement during the election campaign.”

“It does not apply to Lalu Prasad. If that was the case, after the birth of my elder brother and me, we would not have had a younger sister,” Tejashwi said.

“On the other hand, he has dragged my sisters’ names in the Bihar assembly. He has used unparliamentary language towards me,” Tejashwi said.

Tejashwi added that if Nitish Kumar had made me deputy CM, I want to ask him who has made two current Deputy CMs (Tarkishore Prasad and Renu Devi) in Bihar now.

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India

Mehbooba Mufti claims she’s illegally detained yet again

Jammu and Kashmir: Mehbooba Mufti claims she’s illegally detained yet again, not allowed to visit party leader

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Mehbooba Mufti

Srinagar: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti on Friday alleged that she has been “illegally detained yet again” and denied permission to visit a party leader in Pulwama district.

She also alleged that her daughter Iltija has been placed under house arrest.

“I’ve been illegally detained yet again. Since 2 days, J&K administration has refused to allow me to visit party leader
Waheed Ur Rehman’s family in Pulwama. He was arrested on baseless charges. Even my daughter placed under house arrest (sic),” Mufti said in a tweet.

“Their cruelty knows no bounds. Waheed was arrested on baseless charges & I am not allowed to even console his family. Even my daughter Iltija has been placed under house arrest because she also wanted to visit Waheed’s family (sic),” she added.

The former chief minister will hold a press conference at 3 pm today on various issues. Mehbooba was released on October 14 after being in detention from August 5 last year following the abrogation of the special status of the erstwhile state.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had on Wednesday arrested, Waheed Parra, the youth wing president of PDP’s Jammu and Kashmir unit, in connection with a terror case.

Parra, who recently filed his nomination for the District Development Council (DDC) elections from Pulwama in South Kashmir, was being questioned at the NIA headquarters here since Monday for his alleged involvement with the Hizbul Mujahideen terror group.

“Today NIA arrested Waheed Ur Rehman Parra, the youth wing leader of People’s Democratic Party, in connection with the Naveed Babu-Davinder Singh case for supporting Hizbul Mujahideen in conspiracy with the other accused persons,” NIA’s spokesperson had said.

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