Karnataka Police File FIR Against Amit Malviya Over Tweet On Rahul Gandhi, 'Move To Intimidate' Says BJP

The Karnataka police registered a case against Amit Malviya, the IT Cell chief of BJP, based on a complaint filed by a Congress leader, alleging that Malviya promoted enmity and incited people by posting a video on social media that portrayed Rahul Gandhi, in a "negative light"

BJP IT Head Amit Malviya

The Karnataka police has registered a case against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) IT Cell chief Amit Malviya on the basis of complaint by a Congress leader alleging that the former "promoted enmity and instigated people" by posting a video on social media portraying Rahul Gandhi in a bad light, police said on Wednesday.

Former MLA and Karnataka Congress leader Ramesh Babu filed the case against Malviya in connection with a tweet that the latter posted. The BJP leader had shared a video on Twitter with the caption, "Rahul Gandhi is dangerous and playing an insidious game…". 

According to the FIR, Malviya reportedly also said in the tweet, "More dangerous are people who are pulling strings of #Raga like Sam P, staunchly anti-India, they leave no stone unturned to defame India overseas, just to embarrass Hon’ble PM @Narendramodi ji.”

The tweet showed an animated video allegedly depicting Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party in poor light. 

Malviya has been booked under sections 153(A), 120(B), 505(2) and 34 of the IPC which pertain to promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, and ‘doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony’ and conspiracy.

FIR Against Amit Malviya -- BJP's reactions

The BJP described the lodging of an FIR as "pathetic" and alleged that it was done to "intimidate" and "silence him." 

BJP national spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla alleged, "The FIR against Amit Malviya is nothing but a malicious use of provisions of law to silence, intimidate. At best, if Rahul Gandhi was aggrieved by any tweet, he could have filed a defamation case in court," he said.

"Using the state machinery to settle scores only shows that Congress' own communication and social media paraphernalia is supremely incompetent and hence needs a state police to fight its battles! Pathetic. See you in court," Poonawalla said.

Calling the case "politically motivated," Bengaluru South Lok Sabha member Tejasvi Surya said in a tweet, "The FIR filed against Sri @amitmalviya is politically motivated. Plain and simple". 

"Case is registered under 153A and 505(2) of IPC for his alleged statement against Rahul Gandhi. Both the above sections deal with promoting enmity between groups. So, what is Rahul Gandhi? An individual or a group or a class? We will challenge this in the court & ensure justice," Surya said.

Meanwhile, Karnataka IT-BT Minister Priyank Kharge, who had accompanied Babu on June 19 to lodge the complaint, told reporters that the BJP cries foul whenever it faces the brunt of law. 

“They (BJP) have a problem with following the law of the land and they have a problem with the Constitution. And if we enforce the law or the constitution they have a problem with that,” he alleged.

Congress President M Mallikarjun Kharge further said, “I would like to ask the BJP, tell me which part of the FIR that has been lodged against Malviya with a malafide intention. Who is the creator of the video? Who is the one spreading the video? Who is getting the video to have enough traction on social media? Who is spreading these lies? I have promised the people of Karnataka that fake news will be reined in.”