Centre vs Twitter: ‘Law of the land should be abided by everyone,’ says new IT minister

Ashwini Vaishnaw, the MP from Odisha, on Wednesday, took oath as the Cabinet Minister and was given the charge of Railways along with the Information and Technology Ministry.

Newly sworn-in Information and Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw. (Twitter/AshwiniVaishnaw)

Amidst a row between the central government and Twitter, newly sworn in IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw Thursday said that all those who live and work in India will have to abide by the rules of the country.

“The law of the land should be abided by everyone,” Vaishnaw was quoted as saying by ANI to reporters after meeting BJP general secretary (Organisation) B L Santhosh at the party office in New Delhi.

The remark by the new IT minister comes amid a high-profile tussle between the Centre and Twitter. The social media company has been in the eye of a storm over its alleged failure to comply with the new IT rules in India, which mandates, among other requirements, the appointment of three key personnel — chief compliance officer, nodal officer and grievance officer by social media platforms with over 50 lakh users. All three personnel have to be residents in India.

Read |Centre free to take action against Twitter: Delhi HC

While the rules came into effect on May 26, Twitter is yet to adhere to the social media guidelines, despite repeated reminders from the government.

Vaishnaw also said his focus will be on improving the life of the last man standing in the queue.

Explained | What the loss of safe harbour means for Twitter

A Rajya Sabha MP from Odisha, Vaishnaw took charge as the new Union Minister for Communications, Electronics and Information Technology, and Railways earlier today. He replaced senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad.

On Wednesday, Vaishnaw thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi “for giving me the opportunity to serve the nation as Union Minister”. He also posted that he “will take charge tomorrow and work relentlessly” to realise the Prime Minister’s vision. “I seek the choicest blessings of Lord Jagannath to serve the people of Odisha,” he wrote.

(Inputs from agencies)

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