HRD ministry’s official Twitter handle sends request for help in umpiring course to Virender Sehwag, evokes criticism


The BJP’s adversaries have long alleged that the current government at the Centre led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has employed party trolls to manage the sensitive official social media pages of different ministries.


This became evident very early after Modi government came to power as several of its official Twitter handles were used to target the BJP’s political rivals. In 2016, the rail ministry’s official Twitter hand had retweeted a post critical of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal after he criticised the ministry’s decision to introduce flexi-fare in ticket prices.

In July the same year, Modi’s pet initiative Start Up India had shared two hateful messages tweeted by right-wing trolls. Both hateful messages were shared by the official Twitter handle of Start Up India.

Last year, the Delhi Airport came under fire after some users detected a politically biased tweet targeting Congress party. The tweet by Delhi Airport was in response to a known Hindutva Twitter troll, who had posted, “The Congress is not the enemy of BJP. It’s the enemy of India.” To which, the verified Twitter handle of Delhi Airport wrote, “Without Doubts.”

Now the HRD Ministry of the Modi government is in the centre of Twitter storm after its official account was alleged to have sent a tweet to former India cricketer a request for help umpiring course.

The tweet posted by HRD Ministry’s official account, read, ” @virendersehwag Dear Sir, I have been trying to get in touch with DDCA to register myself for Umpiring course but to no avail. The website doesn’t provide any info on the same. Request you to please guise me with the procedure. Rupen Oberoi.”

It appears that Oberoi is tasked with managing the official Twitetr handle of the HRD ministry and he may have accidentally used the ministry’s account to send a personal tweet. However, the man, who even posted his mobile number and email address in the tweet, has now become a topic of huge Twitter outcry.

Rajya Sabha MP and Supreme Court lawyer Abhishek Singhvi wrote, “What on Earth is going on? Who is handling the this Ministry’s handle? This is embarrassing.” Political satirist Akash Banerjee tweeted, ” used to think that there is ONE thing that this Govt is ROCK SOLID ON – Social Media … LIGHT YEARS ahead of competition Even that seems to be falling part now. Pro tip – when handling sensitive accounts – use a separate computer or at-least a dedicated login Rupen.” One Twitter user asked Rupen to tag India TV owner Rajat Sharma, who was recently elected as the president of the DDCA instead. He wrote, “Rupen, try another cricket legend @RajatSharmaLive ! May the blessing of Shri Jet Lee be with you.”

The HRD ministry had was constantly in news for all sorts of wrong reasons during the term of Smriti Irani as its head. The ministry is currently headed by Prakash Javdekar.




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