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Maharashtra govt orders probe into tweets by celebs on farmers’ protest

Mumbai: Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Monday ordered a probe into the tweets done by celebs like Bharat Ratnas Lata Mangeshkar and Sachin Tendulkar, Akshay Kumar, Saina Nehwal and others on the ongoing farmers’ protest.

Terming it a “serious” matter, Deshmukh ordered the Intelligence Department to go into the background of the tweets, many of which were similar in content and posted at the same time.

The development came after Maharashtra Congress Spokesperson Sachin Sawant and other leaders lodged a complaint, demanding to know if “these celebs are under any kind of pressure to post tweets in support of the BJP-led government at the Centre”.

After international pop star Rihanna and environmental activist Greta Thunberg’s posts on the farmers’ protest in India, many Indian celebrities like Bollywood actors and sportspersons, including cricketers, had called for unity through tweets.

Sawant contended that these tweets were a “coordinated effort” as many of them were similarly worded, posted around the same time with common hashtags, which raised suspicions as to whether they were posted under some external pressure.

The celebs used similar hashtags like #IndiaTogether, #IndiaAgainstPropagada etc to counter the tweets posted by foreign celebs, who came out in support of the Indian peasantry.

“Reactions on the farmers protest are coming from across the world and many celebrities have reacted. But you have a question about the timing of these tweets and whether these were made under pressures. The tweets by Akshay Kumar and Saina Nehwal look similar,” Deshmukh said.

Deshmukh pointed out that there was not even a single word that was different in some of the tweets, which was a serious matter.

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