Anti-BJP: Twitter summoned to Indian Parliament

Representatives of Twitter have been summoned to appear before an Indian Parliamentary panel following complaints that the platform is biased against the pro-ruling party and right-wing content.

The announcement was posted on Twitter by Anurag Thakur, the head of the Parliamentary Committee on Information Technology and a member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.

BJP spokesman Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga, who recently organised a protest in relation to the issue, accused Twitter of shutting down pro-BJP and right-wing accounts.

Committee member Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, also from the BJP, told broadcaster NDTV that the move was in response to complaints of a “partisan approach’’ and “ideological bias’’ by those managing content on Twitter.

Officials from Twitter will appear before the panel on Feb. 11, to discuss “safeguarding citizens’ rights on social/online news media platforms.’’

The panel would also examine a “range of issues’’ which include the problem of fake news ahead of India’s general elections scheduled to take place by May, the Times of India daily reported.

A Twitter spokesperson said the company had no comment other than to confirm that “discussions with the government are ongoing.’’

Social media is playing an increasingly important role during elections in India in recent years, with leaders including Modi commanding huge numbers of followers.

As many as seven million tweets were generated during elections in five Indian states this winter, according to the micro-blogging site.

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