PANAJI, June 17 (PTI): Union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Saturday said that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin was acting like the original Stalin for whom he said the freedom of people and their rights didn’t matter.
He was reacting to the arrest of Tamil Nadu BJP leader S G Suryah under the Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology (IT) Act allegedly over a social media post.
“Yesterday, our senior worker from TN (S G Suryah) was arrested, just simply because he tweeted about the death of a sanitation worker in the constituency where there is a CPM elected person,” Chandrasekhar told PTI in Margao town of South Goa.
The minister of state for electronics and information technology is in the coastal state to participate in the party’s organisational programmes.
He said that it is a sign of “irony and hypocrisy” that the Congress used Section 66A during UPA (United Progressive Alliance) regime to put people in jail over their tweets. Now, their “alliance partners, including NCP and Stalin,” are doing it, he said.
Under IT Act’s section 66A, which was scrapped by the Supreme Court in 2015, a person posting offensive messages could be imprisoned for up to three years and also fined.
Chandrasekhar said that the Tamil Nadu CM, who heads the ruling DMK, is desperate to prove that his name is very much like the original Stalin – former Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin – for whom the freedom of people and their rights didn’t matter and he used to put them in jail.
He said that it is important for the people of India to realise that “this is the same party whose leader Rahul Gandhi goes around the world and speaks about the democracy being in danger whereas his own party did that for ten years and his own ally is doing it today”.
“Maybe when former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was talking about being intimidated or being sent to jail, all those things I thought were lies. Maybe he was referring to Rahul Gandhi and his dynastic ally DMK,” he said.
Chandrasekhar said he wanted to a message to DMK and all the parties that do “double-speak and hypocrisy including those free speech libertarians who jump up and down but remain silent during these kinds of blatant violations” that this is not acceptable.
The minister said that their party and the Union government will support Suryah and he will overcome these attempts by the Congress and its allies to muzzle free speech.