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Facebook executives asked to appear before Parliamentary panel

The Parliamentary Panel on IT has summoned representatives of Facebook to appear before the committee on September 2 to discuss the subject of "safeguarding citizens' rights and prevention of misuse of social/online news media platforms including special emphasis on women security in the digital space".

Officials of the IT Ministry have also been asked to be present during the meeting, as per an official statement.

The development comes amid a full-fledged battle between the BJP and the Congress on the issue of Facebook and a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) committee member demanding the removal of panel Chairman, Congress' Shashi Tharoor, from the post.

After privilege notices from both sides, BJP's Nishikant Dubey yesterday sought the removal of Tharoor as the Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology.

In a letter to Speaker Om Birla, he requested him "to invoke Rule 283 with provisions in rules of procedures for removing Shashi Tharoor as Chairman of the IT panel".

He alleged that Tharoor had shown "disdain" in summoning Facebook and sending a notice on breach of privilege against him. "He (Tharoor) is not a new architect in creating unnecessary controversies to grind his political ambitions and at the same time, targeting my party, even by misusing the parliamentary institutions," he said in the letter.

Tharoor gave notice for breach of privilege against Dubey for his alleged "disparaging" remarks, and Dubey hit back with a privilege notice against him as well as Congress leader Rahul Gandhi..