India's main opposition seeks probe into Facebook's alleged ties with Modi's party

India's opposition Congress Party is calling for investigations into alleged links between Facebook's India team and PM Narendra Modi's ruling party. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW DELHI (REUTERS) - India's main opposition Congress on Sunday (Aug 16) called for a parliamentary panel to investigate alleged links between Facebook's India team and the country's ruling party.

Citing a report published by the Wall Street Journal on Friday, the party said employees of Facebook and WhatsApp, responsible for overseeing Indian content, were working to favour Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party, to protect the company's "commercial interests".

India's government and Facebook did not immediately respond to Reuters' requests for comment.

Facebook Inc's WhatsApp, which counts India as its biggest market with 400 million users, is waiting for regulatory clearances to launch a payment platform.

It has invested US$5.7 billion in Reliance Industries'digital unit, with the aim of serving tens of millions of small shops across India.

"Congress party demands the setting up of a joint parliamentary committee to probe the relations of Facebook and WhatsApp employees with the ruling party," Mr Ajay Maken, spokesman of the Congress party said in a press briefing.

Mr Maken also urged the company to launch an internal enquiry into its Indian oversight team.

"This is an issue of Facebook's global credibility," he said.

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