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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Facebook row: BJP MP Nishikant Dubey writes to Speaker, seeks removal of Shashi Tharoor as chairman of IT panel

Dubey cited the “flawed mode and terrible disdain towards the established parliamentary institutions being exhibited by Tharoor” as the reason for his demand.

Written by Liz Mathew | New Delhi | Updated: August 21, 2020 1:20:56 am
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor and BJP’s Nishikant Dubey (Source: Twitter @ Dr Nishikant Dubey)

BJP MP and member of the standing committee on Information Technology Nishikant Dubey Thursday wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, seeking removal of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor as chairman of the standing committee.

Another IT panel member and BJP MP Rajyavardhan Rathore wrote to the Speaker, drawing his attention to the “violation of rules” by Tharoor.

Earlier, Dubey gave a notice of breach of privilege against Tharoor after the office of the chairman of the standing committee sent a letter to Facebook, seeking an explanation on The Wall Street Journal report which stated that a senior public policy executive of Facebook “opposed applying hate-speech rules” to at least four individuals and groups linked with the BJP even after they were “flagged internally for promoting or participating in violence”. Dubey has alleged that Tharoor violated rules by not taking members of the committee into confidence before the standing committee chairman’s office wrote to Facebook.

Tharoor, too, has given a notice of breach of privilege against Dubey, citing his “disparaging” remarks against him on social media.

Explained | Why Shashi Tharoor could summon Facebook before Parliamentary panel

Dubey has requested the Speaker to invoke Rule 283 – power of Speaker to give directions to the committees – in relation to Rule 258 (3) of Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Lok Sabha to choose another member to act as chairperson of the panel. He alleged that Tharoor had been running affairs of the committee in a “thoroughly unprofessional manner and to serve his political agenda of spreading rumours and defaming” BJP and its members.

Tharoor’s mention of a practice followed by The House of Commons in his notice also came under fire from Dubey. “Speaking in Spenserian English with a foreign accent does not give freedom to an individual not only to disregard our glorious parliamentary institutions/Organs to meet his own political ambitions but also to abuse our Constitution by referring to the House of Commons for establishing that while raising pertinent issues for regulating the affairs of Parliamentary Committee on Information and Technology as per established procedure, I have committed the offence of Breach of Privilege,” he said.

House panel summons Facebook

New Delhi: The Parliamentary Committee on Information Technology has summoned Facebook on September 2 in connection with The Wall Street Journal report, sources said. On September 1, the committee will take presentations from Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Home Ministry and Jammu and Kashmir, among others, to discuss Internet shutdowns. —ENS

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