A senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member not known for sugar-coating critique of his own party has fired the salvo of the week already. Lawyer and Rajya Sabha member Subramanian Swamy has set the cat among the pigeons and called for the party’s Information and Technology (IT) cell chief Amit Malviya to be sacked!
His tweet went viral within minutes, with thousands of engagements, from both critics and fans. Swamy has accused Malviya of running a smear campaign against him using fake tweets, and messages over Whatsapp presumably to other cell members. “The BJP IT cell has gone rogue. Some of its members are putting out fake ID tweets to make personal attacks on me,” posted Swamy, “If my angered followers make counter personal attacks I cannot be held responsible just as BJP cannot be held responsible for the rogue IT cell of the party.”
The BJP IT cell has gone rogue. Some of its members are putting out fake ID tweets to make personal attacks on me. If my angered followers make counter personal attacks I cannot be held resonsible just as BJP cannot be held respinsible for the rogue IT cell of the party
— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) September 7, 2020
Within minutes, his many followers responded to this, adding their own opinions on Malviya and the IT cell he runs. Many of which Swamy re-tweeted and in response to one asking him to ignore Malviya’s “attacks”, Swamy named the IT call head and called for the sacking of the IT cell as a whole it appears, “I am ignoring but BJP must sack them. One Malaviya (sic) character is running riot with filth. We are a party of maryada purushottam not of Ravan or Dushasan.”
It may be the first time that Swamy has openly named a BJP insider and called for the dismantling of the IT cell that has been on the forefront of the party’s massive presence on Social media. However, this issue and the allegations that Swamy has made of a “hate campaign” being run against him has been brewing for a while. A follower tweeted that , even “BJP key members are surprised how @amitmalviya who claims Head of IT Cell of @BJP4India is circulating 2Decade old videos as part of disinformation campaign against Dr @Swamy39 whom @narendramodi had appointed as Head of 2014 Election Strategic Action Committee & rose to POWER!?”
BJP key members are surprised how @amitmalviya who claims Head of IT Cell of @BJP4India is circulating 2Decade old videos as part of disinformation campaign against Dr @Swamy39 whom @narendramodi had appointed as Head of 2014 Election Strategic Action Committee & rose to POWER!? pic.twitter.com/qejDLBtW6N
— meradeshmahan (@meradeshmahan9) September 6, 2020
This is in reference to some old video apparently circulating in right-wing Whatsapp groups, and in IT cell groups of some purported “rivalry” between Swamy and BJP’s most iconic leader Atal Bihari Vaypayee. A Swamy supporter, some of who call themselves ‘Swamyarmy’ etc, shared that the video of a supposed ‘confrontation’ was being posted by “Some crooked new RW (joined after 2012) posting old videos of Swamy Vs Vajpayee & RSS asking silly Qs They should ask RSS how Swamy allowed back in Sangh Parivar. These crooks are like fraud neighbours reminding old fights when Miya & Beevi patch up & live happy lives again.”
Some crooked new RW (joined after 2012) posting old videos of Swamy Vs Vajpayee & RSS asking silly Qs They should ask RSS how Swamy allowed back in Sangh Parivar
These crooks are like fraud neighbours reminding old fights when Miya & Beevi patches up & living happy life again pic.twitter.com/AbdfDNZUed
— Sanatan Dharma (@HinduDharma1) September 6, 2020
While he is at the centre of social media attention because he called for a ‘sacking’ of a party insider, Swamy has never shied away from criticising the Narendra Modi government on many issues. On the very sensitive India-China standoff that continues along the borders, Swamy suggested that “India should call off it’s proposed meeting of our External Minister with the Chinese Foreign Minister due next week. It is fruitless since India wants China to vacate occupied Indian territory but China does not recognise it as Indian territory so will not vacate.”
India should call off it’s proposed meeting of our External Minister with the Chinese Foreign Minister due next week. It is fruitless since India wants China to vacate occupied Indian territory but China does not recognise it as Indian territory so will not vacate.
— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) September 6, 2020
While the above was a suggestion, as a follow up he put the critique spotlight on two union ministers, stating that “Now that China has got RM Rajnath to talk and EAM Jaishankar eager to talk,the PLA will start operations in Arunachal to show the world that we are on beck and call even if they sit on our head. Same as what German Chancellor Hitler did to British PM Chamberlain and destroyed him.”
“Is Indian territory-according mutual agreed LAC- also subject to “peaceful resolution” ? The Chinese are sitting on our head in Ladakh, and we have to negotiate ? To convince the Chinese of what? That they should be good boys and go back home?,” he asked.
Last month he had “taken the government on” online when he stood in support of lakhs of students who had sought the postponing of JEE-NEET exams during the Covid-19 pandemic. He had posted that he was calling the PM’s office and making a personal plea to postpone the exams. He then followed up with tweeting this: “JEE/ NEET exams in the middle of a galloping COVID-19 infections, paralysing lockdown effects, a collapsing economy, a monsoon in bloom, Chinese Dragon gobbling our territory, & chors and murderers in Bollywood, is like Jallianwala Bagh where innocent were gunned down.”
He has always had an opinion on the movies made by the Union finance ministry, and as quoted by The Sunday Guardian Subramanian Swamy his weekly interview with NewsX commented on Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman blaming the state of the economy to an “Act of God” with a “Hope she is not blaming me!”
P Gurus, a Right leaning blog, had even termed those attacking Swamy online as “Tweetitutes”, a take on ‘presstitutes’ the term the right-wing uses to abuse journalists who are not affiliated to their ecosystem. “Tweetitutes periodically gang up to spew venom against Subramanian Swamy,” stated the blog dated August 30.
“A few IT Cell employees to jobless homemakers are also part of this dubious gang. A section of neo-Right Winger‘s (RW) periodically gangs up to spew venom against Subramanian Swamy. The narrative is always the same – Subramanian Swamy vs Atal Bihari Vajpayee (ABV) and how he brought the ABV government down. Swamy and Vajpayee were known political enemies and it led to Vajpayee blocking a sitting Jan Sangh Member of Parliament (MP) Swamy from joining the BJP when it was formed in 1980. Swamy, who remained in Janata Party was the prime mover of the collapse of the Vajpayee Government in 1999. What did Vajpayee do to Swamy when he became the Prime Minister in 1998? First, he kept Swamy out of his Cabinet, and within the first few days, he ordered an Income Tax probe into Janata Party’s accounts and found nothing. RW guys never tire of saying that Swamy back-stabbed Vajpayee,” said the blog.
According to this blog, “Swamy stabbed Vajpayee from the front.” It added that, “During Vajpayee’s period, Swamy and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) also had problems with the RSS siding always with Vajpayee. Till 2003, there were problems between RSS Chief Rajju Bhaiya and Swamy. All issues were settled when K S. Sudarshan became the RSS Chief. Sudarshan and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) chief Ashok Singhal brought back Subramanian Swamy to the Sangh Parivar and used his legal acumen in many cases including saving the Ram Setu.”
According to them “paid Twitter handles who started associating with Sangh Parivar and BJP in the period 2012 to 2014 and some landed even after the BJP came to power. Some were real estate agents, brokers, stock traders, etc, who will take money and tweet. Like Presstitutes, these people are Tweetitutes. Some RW guys are now praising Republic TV’s, Arnab Goswami. These fellows have forgotten that Arnab was a total slave of Congress regime and did all Supari stories against the then BJP President Nitin Gadkari, Gujarat fake encounter stories against Modi and fake stories against Sushma Swaraj.”
While it is not sure if the BJP will actually pay heed to Swamy, it is known that the party will not want to make him any angrier than he already is. Maybe the IT cell members are the ones who may soon have to prepare for a reshuffle.