The Editors Guild of India has slammed Amit Malviya, the head of BJP's IT cell, for his recent Twitter poll on veteran journalist Rajdeep Sardesai. In a statement released by The Guild, it described the poll as 'tasteless', 'deplorable' and 'McCarthyist'. On Friday morning, Malviya had shared a Twitter poll asking, "Rajdeep Sardesai should handle PR for ISIS." He had given four options for the Twitter users to vote- agree, strongly agree, disagree and he is irrelevant.
"The poll was not only tasteless, it also questioned the integrity and patriotism of Mr Sardesai, who is a journalist of standing and a former President of the Editors Guild of India," the statement read.
The statement also said that The Twitter poll raises questions on BJP's commitment to healthy debate and dissent without allowing disagreement to degenerate into abuse.
Here's the full statement:
The Editors Guild of India has noted with deep dismay and concern the deplorable at of Amit Malviya, the head of the Bharatiya Janata Party's information Technology cell, in which he conducted an offensive. McCarthyist social media 'poll' on noted journalist Rajdeep Sardesai.
The poll on Twitter was not only tasteless. it also questioned the integrity and patriotism of Mr Sardesai, who is a journalist of standing and a former President of the Editors Guild of India.
The Twitter poll by a national head of the BJP also raises questions on the party commitment to healthy debate and 'dissent without allowing disagreement to degenerate into abuse. The Guild urges Mr Malviya to immediately withdraw the so-called Twitter poll, and the BJP to caution him strongly.
Rajdeep Sardesai had also replied to Malviya's tweet saying that he should carry on with this brazenly slanderous and incendiary campaign.
"My friend, carry on with this brazenly slanderous and incendiary campaign. My new year resolution is to stay calm! Have a peaceful and happy new year.. may spirit of India shine bright," he had written on Friday.
When the poll ended on Saturday morning, 33% Twitter users voted for 'disagree' while 28% voted for 'agree' and 26% people voted for 'strongly agree'. 13% users voted for 'he is irrelevant'. A total of 1,44,287 Twitter users voted in the poll.