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Are you saying Modi is a dictator: Spandana to Jaitley over meme controversy

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Congress leader Divya Spandana Tuesday hit back at Union minister Arun Jaitley for his dictator jibe on the Mamata Banerjee meme controversy, wondering whether he was also referring to PM Narendra Modi as a dictator as she was charged with sedition for mocking him in a similar manner.

Spandana's attack came after the Supreme Court Tuesday directed the immediate release of BJP's youth wing leader Priyanka Sharma on bail, days after she was arrested by the West Bengal Police for allegedly posting a morphed image of Chief Minister Banerjee on social media.

Reacting to the meme controversy in West Bengal, Jaitley tweeted: "Humour, wit, sarcasm survive in a free society. They have no place in autocracies. Dictators laugh at people. They don't like people laughing at them. Bengal, today is a case in point."

Hitting back at Jaitley, Spandana, who is the Congress' social media head, said: "Jaitley ji, I agree with you but how come I was charged with sedition for this meme on Modi? Are you saying Modi is a dictator?"

She was referring to a meme in which Modi is adding finishing touches to his wax statue with "chor (thief)" written on the forehead of the statue.

The top court has directed Sharma to tender a "written apology" at the time of her release from jail for sharing the meme on Banerjee saying that freedom of speech of an individual ends when it infringes upon others' rights.

Sharma was arrested on May 10 and charged under section 500 (defamation) of the Indian Penal Code and under provisions of the Information Technology Act on a complaint by a local Trinamool Congress leader Vibhas Hazra.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, May 14 2019. 20:31 IST