National

Trolling of Sushma Swaraj ‘wrong’, says Rajnath Singh

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj with Home Minister Rajnath Singh. File photo.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj with Home Minister Rajnath Singh. File photo.   | Photo Credit: Rajeev Bhatt

Rajnath Singh is the only minister to have spoken out in support of his colleague, who has been the subject of offensive tweets recently

Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday that the abusive tweets directed at External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj were “wrong.” This is the first time a senior minister has spoken on the subject, a week after Ms. Swaraj first flagged it on Twitter.

“In my opinion, it is wrong,” Mr. Singh told reporters on the sidelines of a function on Monday. He declined to elaborate if any action would be taken against the persons who posted the messages.

A source said that Mr. Singh had earlier in the day spoken to Ms. Swaraj that she could have ignored the abusive tweets.

“The Home Minister spoke to Ms. Swaraj but also told her that she should not have liked the tweets that offended her. He told her that they could have at best be ignored and there was no need to conduct the poll on Twitter,” the source said.

The External Affairs Minister has faced abuse on the social media platform since the story of the Hindu-Muslim couple who alleged harassment at the passport office in Lucknow emerged on June 20. A twitter poll started by Ms. Swaraj, asking social media users whether they “approve” of the trolling she has faced found that as much as 43% of the responders said they “approved.” To flag the issue, Ms. Swaraj had liked over 200 tweets that contained offensive content.

A senior Cabinet Minister said he would not comment in Ms. Swaraj’s support as he didn’t want to appear to be taking a stand contrary to that of the party or that of the government.

“In a democracy difference of opinion is but natural. Pls do criticise but not in foul language. Criticism in decent language is always more effective,” Ms. Swaraj said on Twitter on Sunday.

Ms. Swaraj faced online abuse following the transfer of Passport Seva Kendra official Vikas Mishra in Lucknow for allegedly humiliating the interfaith couple.

Mr. Mishra was transferred from Lucknow to Gorakhpur. after the couple alleged that he humiliated them when they went to the office with their passport applications.

According to the couple, Mr. Mishra asked the husband to convert to Hinduism and pulled up the wife for marrying a Muslim. Mr. Mishra had said in his defence that he was secular and had told the woman that her ‘nikahnama’ showed her name as Shazia Anas, which should be endorsed in her file.

A section of social media had attacked Ms. Swaraj and the Ministry for taking action against Mr. Mishra, claiming that he was just doing his duty.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 7:40:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/trolling-of-sushma-swaraj-wrong-says-rajnath-singh/article24312798.ece

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