Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday said the social media was being misused by opponents to create social tension, caste conflict and lawlessness in the country and the state.
Alleging that negative propaganda was being spread against the BJP government on social media platforms by rivals, he said party workers should counter it effectively by highlighting the achievements of the central and state governments. Yogi Adityanath was speaking at a workshop of the BJP’s IT and social media cell at Indira Gandhi Pratishthan in Lucknow.
“After 2014, when Narendra Modi became Prime Minister, trivial issues are being hyped by opponents on social media platforms. When the central government goes before the people with its major achievement or announcements, it is deliberately targeted,” he said.
“Efforts are made to vitiate the atmosphere of the country through the social media when people are to witness a major event launched by the BJP government. A conspiracy is hatched to divert the attention of the people from the main issues,” he said.
Terming social media an uncontrolled system, Yogi said it has no “mai baap” (master).
“If you are not alert or prepared, you will become the victim of media trial. One cannot disengage from the activities on the social media, it has made an impact on the youths and system. The issues raised on social media platforms are followed by the print and visual media,” he said.
When the Monsoon session of Parliament was to commence, the Pegasus issue was raised by some media groups to disrupt the session, he said.
“Those who raised the issue have no evidence, but it is being carried in print, visual and social media. The Monsoon session is important. It is being held when the country is fighting the Covid pandemic. Discussion should have been held on the Covid management by the government, internal and external security,” he added.
Before the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the Rafale issue was raised on social media platforms, Yogi Adityanath said.
“We countered it and the people rejected the rivals’ campaign on the social media,” the chief minister said.
Observing that the party’s social media warriors had an important role to play in countering the opponents’ misinformation campaign, he said the BJP’s effort in bringing Kashmir into the national mainstream, ending terrorism and a peaceful solution to the Ram temple issue should be highlighted.
“We should not delay or wait for the appropriate moment, but move into action mode immediately. The parties that have no organisation or presence in UP are trying to emerge as opinion makers by increasing their activities on the social media. We should not remain mute spectators,” he said.
“If we do not counter the rivals’ campaign by highlighting the facts, they will try to take advantage of it as our weakness. When an incident happens in UP, the trial of the state government starts on the social media. People residing in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Delhi, Bengaluru as well as in the UAE, the UK and the USA start giving their opinion on the issue,” he said.
He also said an analysis had revealed that 90% of the tweets were by people who had no connection with UP.
They have no interest in the development of the state or welfare of people of UP, he said.
Deputy chief ministers Dinesh Sharma and Keshav Prasad Maurya and BJP state unit president Swatantra Dev Singh also expressed their views on the occasion.