New Delhi [India]: Sharmistha Mukherjee, daughter of former President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday said that she has been "viciously trolled by Congress supporters on social media" for her recent criticism of the party and its leadership.
"Ever since the book on my father came out. I had taken a lot from his diaries and certain observations about Rahul Gandhi, he (Pranab) said that he (Rahul) is yet to mature politically and he doesn't seem to be seriously frequently absent. There is a lot of praise about Congress, but everything was ignored and Congress social media and some of the Congress leaders also had been speaking against ... Congress social media had been viciously trolling me," Mukherjee told media.
Mukherjee had expressed concern over the state of affairs in Congress saying, she is worried about the party.
"A few days back, on the sidelines of the Jaipur Literature Festival, I made a statement in an interview and I was asked about my views about the Congress. I made it very clear that I am a Congressperson, and Congress still has a lot of importance to play in national politics. But the Congress should look beyond the leadership of the Gandhi-Nehru family," she added.
Sharmistha Mukherjee said that the Congress should think about whom to project as its face, as the party had lost badly in the last two Lok Sabha elections when Rahul Gandhi was the party's face.
"The face of Congress in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections led to a drastic defeat and again another defeat is around the corner and everyone knows about this. Does this happen in any political party or BJP? I gave my views as a free citizen of a free country and as a concerned Congress supporter but, since then all hell broke loose. All kinds of abuses had been heaped upon me. Not only that, dragging my father, the whole contention of that argument as if Congress is like a zamindari of the Gandhi-Nehru family," Mukherjee claimed.
She said all kinds of abuses were heaped on her by party supporters, and even her father's name was dragged into it.
"Yesterday, there has been one Congress supporter...he is followed by very senior leaders of Congress...He went berserk, saying all kinds of nasty things...nasty things having sexual connotations," she said.
Mukherjee said she tried to raise the social media attacks that she has been facing with party leaders Jairam Ramesh, Supriya Shrinate, and Rahul Gandhi by tagging them, but she did not receive any response.
"So, then I decided to write this open letter to Congress, to Rahul Gandhi and tweeted it...I also tagged Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and Congress leaders as I am not going to take this kind of sexual harassment and abuse against me and my father," she added.
Sharmishtha Mukherjee also wrote to Rahul Gandhi on Friday to flag "vicious and continuous trolling by your supporters" following the release of her new book and comments last week about his ability to lead the party into the Lok Sabha election.
In a two-page letter posted on X, Mukherjee said she had been subject to trolling, "sometimes using the nastiest language", and identified one social media user in particular - "Naveen Shahi, having an X handle of @Naveen_Kr_Shahi, who is followed by several senior Congress leaders..."
She further wrote that Shahi, "abused my father, Pranab Mukherjee and me in such vile language I feel nausea even to repeat it".
"You are talking about nyay (a reference to Mr Gandhi's 'Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra'). As an ordinary citizen of India, I demand nyay from you as these vile abuses seem to have originated with someone having a formal, or informal, association with your organisation. I demand nyay as a woman, and whose father, has been subject (to) the most vile abuses having sexual connotations," she stated in a letter.
"To show you are serious about nyay, please take action against this person, Naveen Shahi, (and) all the others who reacted positively to his abuses, against your social media head, and your communication head, for allowing this kind of language and abuse," Mukherjee appealed.
"Show that your promise of nyay is not just an empty election slogan," she added.