Twitter war after journalists criticise Delhi government over fresh allegations on corruption


Wednesday saw a new controversy on social media over corruption allegations against Delhi government and how it had allegedly appointed businessmen to educational institutions.

A detailed piece carried by a website ‘FountainLink’ made sansational allegations accusing the Arvind Kejriwal government of Delhi of systematically silencing the dissent from the unfavourable media.

Within minutes of the link being shared on social media, ‘Unravelling the AAP’ became a top twitter trend.

Soon, this led to a heated Twitter spat between some journalists and Ashish Khetan, himself a former journalist but now an integral part of AAP and Delhi government.

While sharing the link, senior journalist Hartosh Singh Bal tweeted, “do read new issue of @fountainink, a magazine doing a good job quietly. good piece on AAP’s corruption network. Charges against AAP-journos, businessmen appointed to edu institutions filling AAP coffers over class III,IV jobs. Serious charges against AAP over the new high security license plates & the firm Rosmerta. The magazine makes a serious case against AAP, why did no one from AAP come on record? (sic) ”

Bal’s series of tweets were met with strong reactions from Khetan, who is the deputy chairman of Delhi Dialogue Commission of the city government.

He too to Twitter to respond to allegations causing a social media war of sorts involving him, Bal and one other journalist, Rana Ayyub, who too had shared the FountainLink story on Twitter with adverse comments for Kejriwal government.

Khetan said, “Show me evidence of corruption. Do innuendos & spiteful remarks attributed to unknown sources amount to journalism? Don’t promote a culture of lies & insinuations in the name of journalism. This is wink-wink nudge-nudge trash.. Severance salary was not paid bcz he was found drunk at work on two occasions & had submitted forged reimbursement bills. To settle the scores he wrote this false piece and got @HartoshSinghBal & @RanaAyyub to cheer him from the sidelines. I’d like you to know each & everything about me. You have any questions, ask me. I will respond, in chapter & verse. (sic)”

Elsewhere, Ayyub too shared the link with the following comments, that appeared to have irked Khetan.

Ayyub’s tweets read, “Serious allegations of corruption against the Delhi dialogue commission to get journalists to favor Aam Aadmi Party. So this piece by @arpitparashar gives much credence to the fact that AAP is almost Team B of Congress in Delhi.”

Khetan then posted the following tweet, “@RanaAyyub I am not among those who take false charges lying down. One more trashy tweet & I will show what it takes to defend one’s honour.”

Although, Ayyub did not respond to Khetan’s tweet directly but posted this message tagging Kejriwal.

She said, “AAP talks of media censorship & freedom but one tweet &story criticising it, almost the entire AAP cadre starts to troll you.”

Bal felt that the reaction by Khetan was uncalled for and disproportionate.

He said, “A journo’s job is to hold up the likes of you to scrutiny. charges are out here, we’ll return to your guts later.”

AAP’s criticism for Ayyub comes barely couple of days after Kejriwal showered praises on the journalist’s new book, Gujarat Files, which exposed the role of BJP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi ( he was the chief minister during anti-Muslim pogrom) and the BJP president, Amit Shah, among others in the 2002 riots.

Kejriwal had said, “#GujaratFiles – Stunning! Shocking! U must read, whether u r pro or anti Modi. Salute to @RanaAyyub for her courage. (sic)”