Social media companies can make any party win an election: Rahul Gandhi on the 70th day of Yatra

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In an apparent mockery of the Maharashtra government led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said on Wednesday that no one knew which party the ruling party belonged to. Rahul also questioned social media companies, saying they apply “systematic bias”, which can win an election for any party.

“Even though EVM is secure, Indian elections can be rigged through social media. If big social media companies want to, they can win an election for any party. Systematic bias is applied there and my social media credentials are a living example of that,” Rahul said, according to the statement released by Congress after meeting with civil society activists on Wednesday afternoon. The meeting was attended by veteran Gandhian GG Parikh and social activist Medha Patkar among others on the 70th day of ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ in Maharashtra.

Rahul alleged that communal violence was used as a strategic weapon to cause discord in society by an ideology and its leaders. “India is currently under the vision of a powerful urban elite and it can only be broken with the right way of thinking and it is our duty to refine that vision,” he said. Later in the day, Rahul spoke at a meeting in Medshi in Washim district of Vidarbha region. “Our yatra seeks to bring everyone with us without hatred or violence. We leave no one behind but pick up those who have fallen. On the contrary, there are those patriots sitting in power in Delhi and similarly there are a few in Maharashtra. (PM) Narendra Modi is in Delhi. I don’t know which party those in power in Maharashtra belong to or what I should be referring to,” he said.

Shinde, a former Shiv Sena number two led by Uddhav Thackeray, rebelled against Thackeray, who led the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra, and formed a government with the help of the BJP. Since then, Shinde has claimed he is the real Sena and even claimed the right to the “bow and arrow” party symbol. The Electoral Commission has now given the name ‘Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena’ to Shinde while Thackeray’s Sena is named ‘Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray)’. The dispute between the two parties has not yet reached a final conclusion. Congress was part of the MVA government. Thackeray’s son Aaditya joined Rahul in the Nanded yatra in a show of unity.

Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh and Supriya Shrinate said the party would introduce the old pension scheme the same way it was introduced in Congress-governed states such as Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. “…There are three million government workers in Himachal, all they are looking for is OPS. So governments … have to respond to people’s needs,” Srinate said.

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