New Delhi: The Congress on Wednesday said the rise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is directly linked to the rise of abuses and hate-mongering in the digital media by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The party also dared the Prime Minister to constitute a special committee under judicial supervision to identify and punish the troll army, involved in suppression of opinion, promoting hate, communal polarisation and scandalous content, and issuing threats.
"...creating and propagating fake news and attacking individuals based on their race, gender, religion, region and caste has been the modus operandi of the BJP," said Congress spokesperson Ajoy Kumar.
"While the Prime Minister talks about "Beti Bachao" movement, his party members and supporters keep on attacking, trolling and threatening opponents, particularly women online," he added.
Kumar said: "It is unprecedented that the Prime Minister of the country follows, meets and actively encourages such trolls."
He claimed that a Bengaluru businessman, Rajesh Jain, had set up a campaign centre for Modi, directly under the instruction and supervision of the Prime Minister. It later became famous as 'Nadiad Army' or 'Namo Brigade'.
"Jain has since been rewarded by the Prime Minister by appointing him a member of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).
"Later, this expanded to many other cities, with multiple people, with many directly run by the BJP's IT cell, earlier headed by Arvind Gupta and now by Amit Malviya," he alleged.
The Congress said it wants to know from Modi as to who are these individuals and organisations whom the Prime Minister hosts, follows, encourages and protects.
"Why does Narendra Modi act as the benefactor, protector and nurturer of these hate mongers and misogynists?"