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Farmers protest: Congress says democracy is being 'murdered' after X's remarks on blocking accounts

The Centre ordered the microblogging site X to take action against certain accounts and posts linked to ongoing farmer protests. However, X, led by Elon Musk, expressed its disagreement with these orders, saying they go against freedom of expression.

Raju Kumar Edited By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 New Delhi Updated on: February 22, 2024 15:00 IST
Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh
Image Source : PTI Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh

The Congress on Thursday targeted the Modi government, alleging democracy is being "murdered" in the country. The statement from the grand old party comes in the wake of microblogging platform X voicing disagreement with the BJP-led Centre's order to block accounts and posts related to ongoing farmers' protests.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has ordered social media platforms to temporarily block 177 accounts linked to the farmers' protests on the request of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the source said.

Tagging a statement issued by X's Global Government Affairs team, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said, "Murder Of Democracy in India."

In its statement, the microblogging platform said: "The Indian government has issued executive orders requiring X to act on specific accounts and posts, subject to potential penalties, including significant fines and imprisonment. In compliance with the orders, we will withhold these accounts and posts in India alone; however, we disagree with these actions and maintain that freedom of expression should extend to these posts."

It said a writ appeal challenging the government's blocking orders remains pending and called for making the order public to enhance transparency.

"Due to legal restrictions, we are unable to publish the executive orders, but we believe that making them public is essential for transparency.

This lack of disclosure can lead to a lack of accountability and arbitrary decision-making," X said.

The microblogging platform has provided the impacted users with a notice of the government's actions in accordance with the company's policies.

Farmers from across the country have been protesting to press the Centre for their demands, including a legal guarantee on the minimum support price (MSP) for crops and farm loan waiver.

The protesting farmer leaders put their march to Delhi on hold for two days on Wednesday after a protester was killed and about 12 police personnel were injured in clashes at one of the protest sites on the Punjab-Haryana border.

(With PTI inputs)

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