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Congress escalates attack on government through social media

Taking on government through social media, Congress has criticised it for “budget cuts” in different sectors, “dilution” of land bill and accused the NDA dispensation of doing “another U turn” on depositing cooking gas subsidy amount in consumers’ bank account.

The opposition party through its official twitter account attacked the decisions of various ministries by posting links of various new reports on its shadow committee hashtags created two months back. “@HMOIndiaShadow: After Health and Agri Budget cuts, this Government is now cutting funds for Police Modernisation too!

“_Shadow @HRDMinShadow: Nailing the lies of @HRDMinistry & of ‘Minimum Govt, Maximum Governance’: Why IIT can’t fly”, the party posted, criticising the government over reports that it plans to cut funds for police modernisation and its alleged role into IIT Delhi controversy.

In other tweets, the party attacked the appointment of Shailesh Nayak as ad-hoc Chairman of ISRO and the recent Ordinance on land acquisition citing reports.

“@ShadowMinOfEA: Government appoints geologist as ISRO chairman. Scientists question the ad-hoc appointment at this crucial juncture. “More dilutions hidden in the Land ordinance than you were told about by the Modi govt…,” it said. On the hashtag of law ministry, it questioned the “hasty changes in land law”.

Congress, which believes that Modi’s media campaign blitzkrieg, particularly on social media, was one of the contributory factors to the unprecedented drubbing of Congress in Lok Sabha polls, had taken steps to tone up its presence on the non-convention media ever since.

Shadow Cabinet committees were formed in November to keep a watch on decisions and policies of key ministries of the Modi government and corner it on issues during and after the Winter Session.

The party attacked the government through these shadow cabinet throughout the winter session in November-December last year. Party sources say that the attack on these hashtags will be carried out comprehensively during the upcoming Budget session in February.

Former ministers, including A K Antony, M Veerappa Moily, Anand Sharma, Oscar Fernandes as also Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, Digvijay Singh, K V Thomas and Jairam Ramesh are prominent members of these shadow committees.

The committees are loosely based on British Parliament’s concept, where the opposition party appoints an MP to ‘shadow’ each of the members of the Council of Ministers.

In one of the shadow committee hashtags, the party said “Modi Govt finalising dilution of tribal rights against acquisition of forest land. After the farmers, tribals now!”

Party general secretary Digvijay Singh also targeted the government over increase in excise duty and gas subsidy payments in bank account of consumers through Aadhar card.

“NDA implements UPA Government’s Policy of paying full price of Gas Cylinder and Subsidy deposited in Consumer’s account through Adhar Card.

“Another U Turn? Modi criticised UPA and BJP made a big issue. Why are they quiet now? BJP’s Double Speak? Would Modi supporters pl comment ?,” Singh tweeted.

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