He tweeted that if the party’s IT cell head Amit Malviya is not removed from his post by Thursday, he will “have to defend” himself.
Swamy’s statements have often been at odds with his party’s stand. While the government recently defended its move to hold the NEET and JEE exams during the pandemic despite protests from students, Swamy urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to postpone the entrance exams till after Diwali.
Earlier this week, before his ultimatum to the BJP, Swamy had tweeted that the IT cell “has gone rogue”. The BJP’s IT cell, headed by Malviya, has often been accused of targeting social media users and spreading fake news.
Swamy accused the IT cell members of putting out “fake ID tweets” and making personal attacks against him. Swamy also warned that he cannot be held responsible if his followers make “counter personal attacks”.
Much like the BJP’s IT cell, Swamy has his own set of dedicated followers — whom he calls PTs or ‘Patriotic Tweeple’ — who are quick to defend him and speak up on his behalf, according to The Print. A Scroll report from 2016 had said that Swamy’s ‘PTs’ spend most of their time attacking the leader’s opponents or trying to decipher his tweets.
Swamy has spoken out against the Modi cabinet and government decisions many times in the past. In February, he called the Goods and Services Tax (GST) “the biggest madness of the 21st century”.
In an interview with HuffPost India’s Betwa Sharma in December last year, Swamy said finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman “does not know any economics”. He also said:
“I believe the party committed in the 2014 election to three things: furthering Hindutva, fighting corruption, and developmental economics. There is no vikas taking place. I’ve been writing this since 2015, not now. We are heading for a tailspin and soon a crash. But Modi doesn’t listen. He listens to people who do not tell him the truth. All the people that he has given high positions to do not tell him the truth.”