The Congress government in Chhattisgarh has recently arrested a man over a social media post. Mangelal Agrawal of Musra Dongargarh, Rajnandgaon was arrested after he had shared a video which claimed that the Bhupesh Baghel government’s nexus with inverter manufacturing companies is the reason behind the rampant power cuts in Chhattisgarh.
Bhupesh Baghel’s government was so disturbed by the social media post that they had proceeded to level sedition charges on Agarwal.
The news of a man being arrested over a social media post and being charged with sedition created an uproar all over. Chhattisgarh’s Congress government, however, seems hell-bent on keeping dissenting voices muzzled.
Journalist Manak Gupta had shared a Tweet, where he had stated that after widespread outrage, the sedition charges against Agarwal have been dropped but Agarwal’s post is an allegation, not a rumour. Sharing another tweet, he had stated that when the people of Chhattisgarh are suffering due to the frequent power cuts, the government is arresting people for even complaining about it. Gupta had demanded Agarwal’s immediate release.
However, the Congress, who was till last week, whining over some journalist being arrested by the Yogi government in UP, has proceeded to tag Manak Gupta’s employers, News 24, and has attempted to brazen out the arrest of a man over a social media post.
Perhaps in an attempt to bully Gupta over his question to the Bhupesh Baghel government, the official handle of Chhattisgarh Congress had asked tagging his employers whether they endorse Gupta’s opinion.
.@news24tvchannel चैनल से अनुरोध है कि वह तत्काल स्पष्ट करे कि उनके एंकर @manakgupta द्वारा फैलाये जा रहे झूठ पर चैनल का क्या रुख है?
क्या यह चैनल का विचार है या एंकर का निजी विचार?
क्या इस ट्वीट को चैनल की सहमति पर झूठ फैलाने जैसे नजरिये से भी देखना उचित रहेगा? https://t.co/17ktE89Mz1
— INC Chhattisgarh (@INCChhattisgarh) June 15, 2019
The Congress official handle has also asked whether Gupta’s tweet can be seen as the Channel is agreeing to spread lies.
It is a remarkable level of brazenness and hypocrisy displayed by a party whose president had made grandiose statements and condemned the UP government for arresting a journalist for spreading fake news and a couple of persons for running an unlicensed news channel without any official permit just days ago.
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. https://t.co/KtHXUXbgKS
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) June 11, 2019
It seems Congress is oblivious and even defensive about the rights of people’s freedom of expression being trampled over in states where they are in power. Congress and Rahul Gandhi have not uttered a word against journalists and common people being arrested in states ruled by them. Worse, they seem to take the right of free speech only as a political tool and speak about it only when it is seemingly infringed in a state that is ruled by BJP.