Mumbai: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) president Raj Thackeray said that the Centre should not have ‘asked’ Sachin Tendulkar and Lata Mangeshkar to tweet in support of the government in the campaign to counter tweets by foreign celebrities as they are now exposed to social media trolling.

“Government shouldn’t have asked big personalities like Sachin Tendulkar and Lata Mangeshkar to tweet in support of its stand and put their reputation at stake. They’re recipients of Bharat Ratna,” Thackeray was quoted as saying by PTI.

“They (Tendulkar and Mangeshkar) are true legends in their fields, but otherwise very simple persons. They should not have been asked to tweet with the same hashtag. They tweeted what government asked them to tweet, and now they are at the receiving end,” he said.

The leader said that the government has exposed Tendulkar and Mangeshkar to social media trolling by getting the icons involved in the campaign to counter tweets by foreign celebrities.

Further, he said actors like Akshay Kumar were enough for this ‘task’.

The incident came to fore after the farmers’ agitation grabbed global attention with international figures – pop star Rihanna, climate activist Greta Thunburg – showing support for the movement which created a lot of controversy.

Earlier this week, the MEA had said in a statement that protests by farmers against new farm laws must be seen in the context of India`s democratic ethos and polity, and the efforts of the Government and the concerned farmer groups to resolve the impasse.

Before rushing to comment on such matters, we would urge that the facts be ascertained, and a proper understanding of the issues at hand be undertaken. The temptation of sensationalist social media hashtags and comments, especially when resorted to by celebrities and others, is neither accurate nor responsible,” the ministry had said in a statement.

Many celebrities including cricket icon Tendulkar and legendary singer Mangeshkar, Ajay Devgn and Akshay Kumar rallied around the government on social media using hashtags #IndiaTogether and #IndiaAgainstPropaganda.

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(With inputs from agencies)

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