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New Delhi, Aug 20 (IANS) The ongoing battle between the Congress and the BJP over the facebook row took a new turn on Thursday with former Union Minister Minister Manish Tewari accusing the social media giant of leaking his letter to the BJP IT cell chief and contending that this showed its collusion with the ruling party.

In a series of tweets, Tewari said: “Nothing demonstrates alleged collusion between certain elements at Facebook and certain elements at BJP than tweeting of my letter to Facebook Senior Management sent – August 18 2020 in the evening by @amitmalviya (BJP’s IT cell chief).”

He sought to know who in Facebook shared his letter with Malviya even before it was formally acknowledged.

Malviya, earlier on Thursday, had tweeted about Tewari’s letter to Facebook on the revelations made by the Wall Street Journal.

“Bharat Gopalaswamy, the man who Manish Tewari appointed as his go to man to lobby with Facebook in the US, and Rahul Gandhi at a meet of the Atlantic Council,” Malviya had alleged while sharing a picture of the two along with his tweet.

Tewari clarified that Dr Bharat Gopalaswamy, whom he mentioned in his letter, was the Director of South Asia Centre at the Atlantic Council till last month. “He is an Indian. He advises me Pro-Bono on policy issues,” he said in his tweet.

“I am surprised that Amit Malviya who comes from a party that Tom-TOM’s NRI’s & organises massive events abroad like Howdy Modi would like to paint my taking advise from a Gentleman of INDIAN ORIGIN PRO-BONO as blasphemy,” he said in the tweet, asking the BJP leader to first disclose who in Facebook gave him the letter.

Noting that he wrote the letter as MP from Sri Anandpur Sahib and former Union Minister of Information & Broadcasting, Tewari said that rather than responding to “concrete questions asked of Facebook”,

it seems Malviya has been deployed to “deflect from serious revelations made in the WSJ story with regard to the alleged bending of Facebook’s hate speech laws and alleged interference in Indian Democratic and electoral processes”.He said that he was “surprised” that Facebook had taken the “Amit Malviya route”.


Harsh Vardhan’s comments unfortunate, aim should be to fight the pandemic unitedly: Rahul Gandhi

“It’s an unfortunate comment. The whole nation has to fight this disease together. I don’t think it’s appropriate to blame someone or the other.



Rahul Gandhi Farmers

Wayanad (Ker): Describing as “unfortunate” the comments by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on rising COVID-19 cases in Kerala, Congress leader and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said it was not appropriate to blame others and point fingers, but fightthe pandemic unitedly.

With Kerala witnessing a spurt in infections recently, Vardhan had recently said the state was “paying the price for gross negligence” during Onam festivities when unlocking of services along with an increase in travel for trade and tourism led to the spread of COVID-19.

“It’s an unfortunate comment. The whole nation has to fight this disease together. I don’t think it’s appropriate to blame someone or the other.

The spirit should be to overcome this huge challenge.

I had warned in February that India was facing a huge challenge.However, this is not the time to point fingers and we all should work together,” Gandhi said.

He said Kerala follows a decentralised response to the pandemic and the state was giving out a good, decent result.

“The spirit of the people of Kerala, including the health workers, is giving a good decent result here.Of course there are shortcomings like there are in every situation.

But overall I feel the spirit of the people is going to overcome this disease here.The mitigation work in Wayanad is also good,” the Congress MP said.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has, however, said Vardhan’s comments should not be seen as a criticism of the state government’s COVID-19 management.

The chief minister had said on Monday that the COVID-19 situation in the state was under control during and after the Onam festival season as a strict vigil was enforced.

“Our COVID preventive measures were a success but the massive protests across the state by an irresponsible opposition derailed the efforts of the government,” Vijayan said.

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UPCC chief accuses Yogi govt of suppressing Cong’s voice



Ajay Kumar Lallu

Lucknow : UPCC chief Ajay Kumar Lallu on Tuesday charged the Yogi Adityanath government with repressing the Congress’ voice out of frustration over his government’s failure on all fronts.

“It is the Congress which is raising its voice over the state government’s failure on all fronts and the Yogi government is repressing the voice out of political vendetta, the UPCC president told reporters.

The chairman of party’s Scheduled Caste cell, Alok Prasad, was arrested recently on fake charges, said Lallu, referring to Prasad’s arrest for his alleged role in a case of self-immolation of a woman of the Maharajganj district.

Prasad was arrested for allegedly abetting the suicide by the woman who had died in a Lucknow hospital after setting herself ablaze near Uttar Pradesh assembly.

Accusing the Yogi government of having failed in giving justice to the woman, he said people attempting self-immolation right in front of the UP chief minister’s office, Lok Bhavan, at Hazratganj in Lucknow has become an everyday affair.

Lallu claimed that the harassment of Dalits has direct patronage of the Yogi Adityanath government.

Prasad’s arrest is not only undemocratic but also part of a planned strategy of harassing people belonging to Dalit and backward castes, he said.

This government is anti-Dalit and anti-backward people, said Lallu.

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Punjab’s Resolute: Assembly Unanimously Passes Bills Against Farm Laws

The bills against farm laws were also backed by the Opposition SAD, AAP and Lok Insaaf MLAs.




Amarinder Singh

The Punjab Assembly on Tuesday unanimously passed four Bills and adopted a resolution against the Centre’s farm laws.

The Bills were passed after an over five-hour discussion, in which BJP MLAs did not take part. The BJP has two legislators in the assembly.

The Opposition SAD, AAP and Lok Insaaf MLAs backed the legislations.

The state government’s legislative counter provides for imprisonment of not less than three years and fine for sale or purchase of wheat or paddy under a farming agreement below the minimum support price.

The provisions exempt farmers from attachment of land up to 2.5 acres and provide for prevention of hoarding and black marketing of agricultural produce.

Earlier, Chief Amarinder Singh had urged all parties to unanimously pass his government’s “historic Bills” in the Vidhan Sabha.

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