While the opposition and the left-liberal jamaat have hopped on the bandwagon to claim that Ankhi Das, the Public Policy Director in Facebook for India, and South & Central Asia, is a “BJP stooge’, Mamata Banerjee’s TMC members have admitted that Das has links with the party.
On Wednesday, in the Parliamentary Standing Committee meeting, the Trinamool members accepted that Das had met West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee along with her father-in-law.
The admission of the TMC members came on the heels of Congress MPs’ allegations that Ankhi Das favoured BJP. When the Congress MPs reportedly alleged that Das had suggested that Facebook should not act against BJP’s Telangana MLA T Raja Singh in a hate-speech issue, the BJP members countered saying: “she is the daughter-in-law of a Trinamool lawmaker from West Bengal”. This is when Trinamool members in the panel accepted that Das has met West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee along with her father-in-law.
TMC has accused Facebook of bias too
Until now, interestingly, the Trinamool Congress was also a part of the bandwagon which accused Facebook of bias towards PM Modi and BJP. In a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, West Bengal’s ruling party, the Trinamool Congress, said the company’s recent blocking of pages and accounts in the state pointed to the links it had with the BJP.
Ankhi Das’ father-in-law an erstwhile minister in the Govt of WB
It is no secret that Ankhi Das’ father-in-law is a senior Trinamool Congress member. Rabiranjan Chattopadhyay is the erstwhile minister for the departments of Technical Education and Training, Science and Technology and Biotechnology in the Government of West Bengal. He is also an MLA, elected from the Bardhaman Dakshin constituency on a TMC ticket.
The ‘political allegiance’ of Ankhi Das with TMC
In fact, CPI(M) had also tweeted last month that Ankhi Das was in charge of handling media affairs of Mamata Banerjee led TMC during the 2011 assembly elections and was an integral part of the election war room in Bardhaman from where her father-in-law contested. CPI(M) also alleged that AnkhiDas played a significant role during 2016 assembly elections in WB in advising TMC in their social media endeavour.
~ @Facebook India PPD #AnkhiDas, sister of erstwhile @abvpjnu activist & wife of founder of @ABVPVoice unit at Presidency College in Kolkata is the daughter-in-law of @AITCofficial 2 time MLA & Ex minister Rabiranjan Chatterjee.— CPI(M) WEST BENGAL (@CPIM_WESTBENGAL) August 20, 2020
Ankhi Das’ links with TMC and AAP
Moreover, Ankhi Das’s old Facebook posts also suggest that she has been in awe of the TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee. In her post in December 2013, Ankhi Das had expressed open admiration for Mamata Banerjee’s political campaign of ‘poribortan (transformation)’.
In March Prior to the Lok Sabha elections in 2014, she had organised a ‘Facebook Talkslive’ with Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee at Kolkata Town Hall. The event was also graced by ‘journalist’ Madhu Trehan who runs the left-propaganda website, News Laundry.
Ankhi Das has also been found praising AAP for its campaigns on several occasions.
Many opposition leaders have been harping on the issue that Ankhi’s twin sister is a member of ABVP, the student wing affiliated to RSS. But Ankhi’s own political leanings and links do not seem to have garnered enough interests to allege ‘bias’ for them.