In RS, Oppn targets govt over media misuse, mob lynching

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New Delhi: Misuse of media and social media, mob lynching and communalism were among the issues that Opposition members raked up to hit out at the government in the Rajya Sabha today as the debate over the motion of thanks on President’s address continued for the second day.

Accusing social media firms of favouring the ruling NDA government during the election campaign for the recent Lok Sabha poll, TMC member Derek O’Brien said they provided a major share of advertisement to the BJP.

On the relevance of media, he said, “With media in hand, it is easy to manufacture great men these days. Dr BR Ambedkar said this. He saw this problem coming long ago. We appeal to media owners that you have a role to play to save democracy. We appeal to journalists to bring back the days of editors — the ’60s, ’70s.” He also demanded sweeping electoral reforms saying there should be a collegium to appoint the Election Commissioner. He advocated return of ballots and state funding for political parties.

Earlier, Congress’ Digvijay Singh said, “You have injected venom of communalism into the people of this country. Slogans of Jai Shri Ram and Allah hu Akbar are being raised in Parliament. This is not the tradition of Parliament.”

Raking up the issue of mob lynching, NCP member Majeed Memon attacked the government for increase in such incidents. He sought to know whether the 21 crore Muslims were getting the right to life under the Constitution.

Memon said “with all humility and respect I ask the Prime Minister” how can the government win the trust of Muslim youth when Tabrez was mercilessly beaten and forced to say “Jai Shri Ram” and “Jai Hanuman”. The youth died despite “Constitution promising that every citizen of India is entitled to right to life”, he said.

Tabrez Ansari (22) died in a Jharkhand hospital on Sunday, days after being brutally thrashed by a mob at Dhatkidih village on the suspicion of stealing a bike.

The death of seven persons while cleaning a hotel sewer in Gujarat found a mention when D Raja of the CPI said the PM had not uttered a word on the issue so far.

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